People like Francis Scott Key and Barbara Fritchie have monuments that seemingly fit their legacy in size and stature. Everyone is familiar with the author of our national anthem’s monument at the entrance of our 120 acre-burying ground. It was unveiled to great fanfare back in August, 1898 after nearly three decades of fundraising.
As for Dame Fritchie’s grave, it is a little more modest than FSK’s, but fitting compared to the original design and scope proposed back in 1912. A postcard was published showing a rendition of what the Barbara Fritchie Monument Foundation was actually hoping to do. This behemoth was to be located at the intersection of N. Market and 7th streets but would never come to fruition thanks to pushback regarding the true validity of our most famous Frederick tale.
Months ago, I wrote of Frederick’s First Citizen, Joseph D. Baker (1854-1938), businessman and philanthropist extraordinaire—namesake of our glorious municipal park. He has a large monument mirroring his achievements. In the same ilk, a sizeable memorial arose for Col. Charles Edward Trail (1825-1909), a politician and businessman whose final resting place is as grandiose as his former E. Church Street abode (used today for Keeney & Basford Funeral Home). Another “giant from our past,” and “memorial giant of our cemetery” comes with James C. Clarke (1824-1902), a former railroad executive. His grand obelisk is positioned to the left of our Key Memorial Chapel’s front entrance on its own island so to speak. Of course we have two thoroughfares named for these men in the forms of Trail Avenue and Clarke Place.
On the flipside, I’ve written past stories about amazing people with very unassuming, or plain and underwhelming, gravestones. These include people that truly did amazing things and led highly interesting lives such as fashion designer Claire McCardell, actor Robert Downing, Gen. Allan C. McBride, Maryland Court of Appeals judge and history author Edward S. Delaplaine II and Simon Blunt—son-in-law of Francis Scott Key.
Well, I decided to tackle one of the most visible and memorable monuments in the cemetery in my opinion. I cannot un-see this angel-topped marker every time I drive the cemetery lane that parallels our eastern perimeter of the cemetery along Stadium Drive. About midway down, in Area OO, is the grave of Harold McClellan Phebus. I think that after reading this short piece, you may agree with me that this humble, yet exquisite memorial “shines,” even though its owner didn’t have opportunity to accomplish anything.
There’s not much of a story to tell about this particular decedent with a distinctively Frederick name. Harold’s life was cut far too short as he only spent time on this earth for one year, six months and 23 days.
Born February 1st, 1904, Harold McClellan Phebus was the son of Elmer McClellan Phebus (1862-1929) and wife Margaret “Maggie” Viola Kline. Our subject’s middle name was the same as that of his father, originally so-named after the United States general of the Union’s Army of the Potomac—George B. McClellan. Mr. Phebus earned the name honestly as his father had also been named after a patriotic, historical figure—Benjamin Franklin Phebus. In the 1870 census, Elmer is referred to by his middle name.
As for the last name, it goes back to ancient mythology and has a few spellings. The name Phebus, or Phoebus, is a boy's name of Greek origin meaning "shining, brilliant.” It was apparently one of the names of the sun god Apollo, however it is more commonly known in its feminine form— Phoebe.
Looking at the name going back in Frederick history, I found that our first in town derive from immigrant Johannes Jacobus Fibus (1767–1823) hailing from Manheim, Erftkreis, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.
From what I could tell, Jacob Fibus came to this country in the 1790s and became a naturalized US citizen on March 26th, 1804.
He and wife, Annan were of the Evangelical Lutheran faith and raised at least three children including son Peter Fibus (1793-1839), great grandfather of Harold McClellan Phebus and father of Benjamin Franklin Phebus. Along the way, the spelling would change from “F” to “Ph”and in some instances the name would pick up an “o” as in Phoebus. I still see this spelling with Frederick County residents today.
It's easy to surmise that the family, or a family member lived in the vicinity of current day Phebus Avenue located west of S. Bentz Street between W. Patrick and W. South streets. The entrance is across from Mullinix Park, just north of W. All Saints Street. I found Benjamin Franklin's son George T. Phebus living on W. South, and son Benjamin Ellsworth Phebus living on W. Patrick St in the early 1900s. This latter brother of Elmer McClellan Phebus even owned property along Phebus Avenue so he may be the cause for the name. However, Elmer, himself, may also be the namesake, but more on that in a moment.
The name Phebus Avenue came about around 1914 or so. Before this, the thoroughfare here was known as Cat Alley and was in the midst of a slum-ridden area. It seems to have originally been an extension of DeGrange Street (which was earlier known as Derr's Alley). I read that the municipality had built a boardwalk over the muddy lane before eventually macadamizing around the time of the name change to Phebus Avenue.
Elmer McClellan Phebus was a third-generation bricklayer and mason and performed work in the private, commercial and government sector here in Frederick. He would marry Maggie Kline in 1896. The Phebus family resided at 418 N. Market Street at the time of young Harold’s death. Other siblings included: Roger Elmer Phebus (1898-1979) and Walter Henry Phebus, Sr. (1901-1958).
As for Harold’s death, he would pass on August 24th, 1905 and his obituary appeared in the August 25th edition of the Frederick News. He would be buried that same day of the 25th. Our cemetery interment card gives his cause of death as meningitis, an inflammation of brain and spinal cord membranes, typically caused by a viral infection, but can also be bacterial or fungal.
As said earlier, the monument appears to stand taller than it really is. Other family members would receive low profile stones in the future with the only exception being a lone upright stone with the family name. Harold’s mother would die twenty years later in November, 1925.
Interestingly, Margaret’s grandson, Walter McClellan Phebus, Jr. had died four months previously of enteritis and was laid to rest in the Phebus family lot. He was the son of Walter and Helen Phebus and was only eight months and 21 days at the time. A third child, albeit an infant would be buried here in this plot in August, 1933, another child of Walter Phebus. This was Margaret Irene Phebus, only 15 days old and named for his departed mother.
In 1929, Harold’s father’s death made front page news. Elmer had become a public servant, and held the position of city alderman of Frederick for multiple terms. He appears to have been quite respected as both a politician and businessman. Elmer died on January 7th, 1929 and would be buried two days later.
I quickly became intrigued with Elmer's, or should I say McClellan's, political career as he was less than angelic, as he was quite outspoken. One could say he was brash and cocky. The Democrat ran unsuccessfully for city mayor in 1914. He would win re-election again in 1917 and 1922.
Alderman Phebus was on the Street Committee of the Board of Alderman. This also got me thinking that this could have led to the alderman getting a city street named after him. I'm not positive, but the name switched from Cat Alley to Phebus Avenue while Elmer was in office.
Lastly, I found Elmer to be a leading member of the Independent Hose Fire Company in town. At the time of Mr. Phebus' death, his fellow firemen put the following eulogy in the local paper:
It’s interesting to think that Elmer’s well-attended funeral had friends, family, business and professional colleagues, fellow civil servants, brother firemen and former clients in attendance. This large assembly huddled around Harold’s angelic monument on that day. I checked the weather and found it to be a chilly January day with light rain that eventually changed to snow flurries. No matter the case, the lasting memorial to a 1.5 year-old toddler shone brightly that afternoon for sure, just as it had done when originally placed in 1905 for Harold's funeral, and just like it continues to do today, 117 years after his death.
March 31st, 2017, I remember the day quite well. It was a Friday afternoon and I was busily working on an article entitled Frederick’s Caller of “Balls and Strikes” about Richard “Dick” Nallin, one of the American League’s earliest umpires, and namesake of Fort Detrick’s entrance off Opposumtown Pike.
I decided to write this particular story at that time because we were on the verge of baseball season beginning at all levels, but closest to home, right next door to the cemetery, we have Nymeo Park at Harry Grove Stadium—home of the Frederick Keys. Of course this team is so named for who else but Francis Scott Key, the most recognized name in our cemetery. Speaking of which, our former intern from Hood College, Katelyn Klukosky, alerted me to a recent post on the Instagram site entitled Frederick County Affirmations (@fredco_affirmations). On January 8th, this dandy can be found.
You gotta love it! However, having worked for the Frederick Tourism Council for nearly a decade, I can definitely second this affirmation, but can also say with confidence that those “bones” have been a huge tourist draw since 1898. One “star-spangled” case in point occurred on the afternoon of the fore-mentioned March 31st, 2017.
A visiting family arrived at our Mount Olivet administration office back in the mausoleum complex to the rear of the cemetery. These folks were solely here for tourism and genealogy purposes and not to make burial plans. They were promptly directed my way by our office manager. I would meet Francis and Susan Ellert of Culver, Indiana, and their four teenage children. Soon I would be told that Francis had received his name thanks in-part to our front gate greeter and author of our national anthem. He said he was so-named by his parents because he apparently was a descendant of Francis Scott Key, but was not sure of the exact genealogy.
I immediately took it upon myself to intervene after giving a history lesson of how FSK (Francis Scott Key) came to be “reburied” here in Mount Olivet from Baltimore, and the drive to create a fitting monument which took over three decades and money from people all over the country. Mr. Ellert shared that he hadn’t stepped foot on our premises since 1986, the time of his paternal grandmother’s funeral. He was only a kid back then and had come all the way from the Cleveland, Ohio area and didn’t remember much from the experience outside of the graveside service and being shown his namesake’s monument and final resting place.
Now, 31 years later, the Ellerts decided to make a brief stop in Frederick on the way back home after enjoying a family “spring break” trip to Washington, DC. Their goal was two-fold: to find his grandmother’s grave, and then show his wife and children the gravesite of his famous namesake.
I jumped into action and pulled up our burial database searching for a Louise Ellert (1884-1986). I found that “Louie,” as she was affectionately known, is buried in Area BB/Lot 35 along with husband Laurence B. Ellert (1878-1940). A daughter of the couple, Jeanne Ellert Blunda (1908-1968), is also here.
Louise Ellert was living in Cleland Heights, Ohio at the time of her death. She was brought here to Frederick’s Mount Olivet to be buried next to her husband who had died 28 years earlier. At that time, the Ellerts were living in New York City, where Laurence was enjoying an interesting career as a music magazine publisher. He served as production manager and vice president of the Boston Music Company and the Willis Music Company of Cincinnati, Ohio.
As for “Louie,” she lived a good, long life and was our connection, or dare I say “key,” to the supposed Maryland history connection at hand for grandson Francis Ellert. In researching for this particular story nearly four years later, I found this small blurb in the Frederick paper from September, 1984.
In our cemetery files, I found Louie Ellert was the former Louise Key, daughter of William Thompson Key and Josephine Louise Baltzell. I now had two interesting, former Frederick families to draw from in the form of the Keys and Baltzells. However, I would find that Louie’s father (Mr. Key) had not only old Maryland roots, but was a native of the deep south and the state of Louisiana. Before I attempted to sort out the Key connection back to Francis Scott Key, I explained to the Ellert family the importance locally of the Baltzell family as this was the first time they had heard the name. Not only was this the reason for burial here in Mount Olivet, but we also possess a tangible connection to the Baltzells specifically designed for Frederick visitors.
You may ask, “Who were the Baltzells?” Well, to answer this question, you only have to go as far as Heritage Frederick, formerly known as the Historical Society of Frederick County. I mean this both literally and figuratively. At this historic archival repository, one will learn that John Baltzell, grandfather of Josephine Louise (Baltzell) Key, was born February 11th, 1775 here in Frederick.
John was the son of Dr. John Jacob (1752-1838) and Anna Mary (Gibbs) Baltzell (1753-1829) and the grandson of John Jacob and Eva Catherine (Wintz) Baltzell, immigrants originally from the Alsace-Lorraine region between Germany and France. Dr. John Jacob had immigrated here with his parents in 1763. He and his wife were originally buried in Frederick’s German Reformed Graveyard, but were removed to Mount Olivet at the time of our opening in May, 1854. They are located in Area E/Lot 30.
Their son, Dr. John Baltzell, would soon join his parents here at Mount Olivet. His obituary appeared in the Frederick Examiner under the title, "Death of a Venerable Physican" on September 6th, 1854.
“Dr. John Baltzell, one of our most aged and respectable citizens, departed this life, shortly after midnight on Wednesday night, the 6th inst. of paralysis. The deceased had been rapidly recovering from the effects of a protracted illness, and felt so well on Tuesday morning, that he anticipated the pleasure of a walk down street in the cool of the evening. Dr. Baltzell was a native of this city; having received in early youth a liberal education, he studied medicine under Dr. Philip Thomas, one of the most celebrated physicians of his day, and entered on the practice of his profession about the opening of the current century. Possessing superior mental endowments and ardently devoted to his noble science, he was a very successful practitioner, and gratefully esteemed for his humanity and attention to the sick. Apart from his profession, his general course of studies took a wide range, and favored with a retentive memory, he was remarkable though life for his social qualities and conversational ability. Indulging in fondness for religious and political polemics, he became at one time a frequent contributor to the press, and was regarded as an influential writer; especially as a political writer, at the era of the second War of independence when party spirit ran highest. He withdrew from active practice a few years since with a handsome fortune, and having passed through a long life-time, without the breath of suspicion upon his honorable fame, died at the advanced age of 70 years, 6 months and 25 days.
He married Ruth Ridgley, daughter of Judge Charles Ridgley, on Dec. 24, 1821 in Frederick, Maryland. They were the parents of Ellen Margaret, Eliza Ann, Cornelia, Philip Thomas, Frederick, John Ridgley, Albert, Dr. William Henry, Wesley, Fanny, and Alice Baltzell.”
Dr. Baltzell’s home is a familiar one to Frederick residents and history fans alike as it has served home to the Historical Society of Frederick County (aka Heritage Frederick) since 1959.
Dr. Baltzell built the home (c. 1820-1824) for his wife and their growing family. He practiced medicine from the basement level office accessible via an old side entrance off Maxwell Alley. The property lot extended further back and to the west with a large side yard. After the physician’s death, the property was offered up for sale and Mrs. Baltzell eventually moved to Calvert County to live with a daughter’s family in Leonardtown.
Col. Alexander Baird Hanson purchased the property from Dr. Baltzell’s estate in 1854, and owned it until 1871. He added the east annex to house his son in-law’s law practice, covering over the Maxwell Alley basement access. John Loats, a prominent farmer and businessman, resided here late in his life through his death 1879. He was a wealthy widower who had lost his only son in infancy. He directed in his will that this house be incorporated as the Loats Female Orphan Asylum of Frederick City. This became a reality in 1882 and operated as such until 1956.
Born July 30th, 1836, Dr. William Henry Baltzell followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather as a physician. The father of Josephine Louise (Baltzell) Key was a graduate of Princeton, and studied to become a physician at the University of Pennsylvania. He married Josephine Victoria Nelson (b. 1832), daughter of Judge Madison Nelson (1803-1870) and wife Josephine Morrell Marcilly (1806-1882) in February of 1855. The Nelson family of Frederick also have a “storied past” which I will save for another time. Upon completing his studies, Dr. William Baltzell went to Union, Illinois shortly after his marriage in 1855 to start his medical career. This could have been at the urging of his future brother-in-law Frederick J. Nelson, a Frederick native and lawyer living in the Chicago vicinity.
Josephine was the oldest of four known children, born on June 24th, 1859 in Chicago, Illinois. The family returned to Frederick during the Civil War period and by 1880 were living in a spacious home on East Second Street, across from the Visitation Academy. They lived next door and east of the earlier mentioned Frederick J. Nelson and his mother, Josephine (Marcilly) Nelson, maternal grandmother of Josephine (Baltzell) Key.
Josephine (Nelson) Baltzell inherited what is today 209 E. 2nd St from her aunt Zulma Marcilly in 1884. Dr. William and Josephine Baltzell, along with Zulma and Rose Marcilly, were all living in that house. Josephine Baltzell sold the 209 E. 2nd St property to her son-in-law Robert LaDow in 1912, but he immediately sold it to Frederick Ordeman, who owned it until 1920.
A great deal of information can be found on this family in Dr. William H. Baltzell’s obituary in 1899.
As noted in the obituary, one of Dr. William Baltzell’s sisters, Frances “Fanny” Baltzell (1839-1874), married a relative of Francis Scott Key named Joseph Harris Key (1839-1917). Joseph’s father was a second cousin to FSK, as they both shared a great-grandfather in the progenitor of the family, Philip Key (1696-1764).
Josephine Baltzell would marry a Key as well—a gentleman named William Thompson Key. This union occurred on November 16th, 1880. The couple would go on to have five children: William Barton Key (b. 1881); the fore-mentioned Louie Victoire Key (Ellert) (1835-1986); Philip Barton Key, Sr. (1887-1956); Louis Key (1888-1889) and Nicholas Sewall Key (1892-1948).
With a little genealogical study, I was able to share with Francis Ellert and his family that he was not a direct descendent of Francis Scott Key as previously believed, but was indeed a definitive relative through William Thompson Key, who possessed a closer genetic connection to Francis Scott Key than Joseph Harris Key, albeit it another generation removed. The above-mentioned family immigrant, Philip Key, was William’s great-great-grandfather. William’s great-grandfather was Francis Key (1731-1770), whose name would be given to patriotic grandson, Francis Scott Key. In between these two “Franks” were FSK’s father and uncle, brothers John Ross Key (1754-1821) and Philip Barton Key (1757-1815).
Now, hold on just a minute and don’t be thinking you know something interesting about this Philip Barton Key. The name is more famous as it was applied to FSK’s son, who died in 1859, a victim of the 1800s “crime of the century.” That would be Philip Barton Key II (b. 1818).
Philip Barton Key II was an American lawyer who served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. He is most famous for his public affair with Teresa Bagioli Sickles, and his eventual murder at the hands of her husband, Congressman Daniel Sickles of New York. Now there’s an incredible story and the subject of a novel entitled Star-Spangled Scandal published a few years back by former Frederick resident, Lori Swerda. As an aside, Lori presented a colorful lecture for our Friends of Mount Olivet group last Flag Day here at the cemetery.
No, the “Philip Barton Key” tied more directly to William Thompson Key was his grandfather, who also served as FSK’s uncle and the namesake for his ill-fated son. Philip Barton Key was born in 1757, near Charlestown, Cecil County. His reputation would always have a stigma because he was a Loyalist during the American Revolutionary War. Mr. Key fought with the British Army from 1777 to 1781 within the Maryland Loyalists Battalion as a captain. He and his entire battalion were captured by the Spanish Army– who were at war with the British– in Pensacola, Florida.
Philip Barton Key was a prisoner for a month in Havana, Cuba before being paroled and sent to New York City until the end of the war. After the conflict, Key went to England for higher education and graduated from the Middle Temple in London in 1784. Afterwards, he read law in 1785 and soon returned to Maryland where he was admitted to the bar. Key entered private practice in Leonardtown, Maryland from 1787 to 1790. He continued private practice in Annapolis, Maryland from 1790 to 1794, and from 1799 to 1800. He was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1794 to 1799, and served as Mayor of Annapolis from 1797 to 1798.
Before leaving office, President John Adams appointed fellow Federalist Philip Barton Key to the position of Chief Judge of the United States Circuit Court for the Fourth Circuit. His service, however, would be short-lived as he was terminated on March 3rd, 1801 for political reasons by new president Thomas Jefferson.
Following his departure from the federal bench, Philip Barton Key resumed private practice in Montgomery County from 1802 to 1807, while also engaging in agricultural pursuits. He also served as counsel for Samuel Chase, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, during his Senate impeachment trial in 1805. Most interesting for our purposes is the fact that Philip Barton Key influenced his young nephew Francis Scott Key to leave Frederick and move to Georgetown and the fledgling capital city in an effort to practice law with him.
Philip Barton Key was elected as a Federalist from Maryland's 3rd congressional district to the United States House of Representatives of the 10th, 11th and 12th United States Congresses, serving from March 4, 1807, to March 3, 1813. He was Chairman of the United States House Committee on the District of Columbia for the 10th United States Congress. Following his departure from Congress, Key resumed private practice in Georgetown from 1813 until his death in 1815. He is interred in Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington, DC.
Philip Barton Key would give his eldest son his moniker. Philip Barton Key, Jr. was William Thompson Key’s father. Born in Georgetown in 1804 at the family estate of Woodley, Philip Barton Key, Jr.’s mother was the former Ann Plater (1774-1834), a daughter of Governor George Plater of Maryland. Young Philip studied law under his cousin, Francis Scott Key. He was twice married—his first wife, the former Maria Brent Sewall of Prince Georges County, died in 1831. He then married his sister-in-law, the former Maria Laura Sewall (1812-1897) of St. Mary’s County by whom he had ten children.
Philip Barton Key, Jr. practiced law in Annapolis until 1835, at which time he relocated to Ascension Parish, Louisiana near the capital city of Baton Rouge. William Thompson Key was the fifth born of Philip’s children—November 28th, 1841. In 1845, William’s father purchased Acadia Plantation in Lafourche Parish near Thibodaux. This is about 60 miles west of New Orleans. The Key's property would grow to be a 3,400-acre sugar plantation that once served home to the famed Jim Bowie of Alamo fame. In addition to his legislative duties, Mr. Key was a member of the Louisiana Constitutional Convention of 1850.
Originally named Acadie, the name was changed to Acadia in the 1830's. Once owned by Jim Bowie, the hero of the Alamo, whose family owned it from 1827 to 1831. The house was consolidated into one building from two Creole cottages and a shotgun house. Other owners were Philip Barton Key, nephew of Francis Scott Key, and Andrew Donelson, nephew of Rachel Jackson, wife of Andrew Jackson. Federal Troops camped here during the Civil War.
Philip Barton Key, Jr. died at his plantation in 1855 and is interred at St. Joseph's Church Cemetery in Thibodaux. He was laid to rest in a traditional above-ground crypt.
Maria S. Key is listed as head of household in 1860 census as the large family was still at Acadia Plantation at this time.
With the fall of the south during the American Civil War, the plantation was likely lost and Maria moved back home to Maryland and her family home of Centerville in St. Mary’s County. In the 1880 census, 38-year-old William Thompson Key can be found living with her on the eve of his marriage to Josephine Baltzell. This happened here in Frederick on November 15th of that year.
Of course, we don’t have the 1890 census, but I found scant mentions of Mr. and Mrs. Key throughout the decades leading up to the new millennium. The family can be found living in Washington, DC on 1021 East Capitol Street in the late 1880s, with William working as an accountant and clerk for the US Treasury Department.
In 1900, I found William T. Key and his son, William Key, boarding in a house on St. Paul Place in Baltimore. This was near the intersection with Mulberry Street in center city, not far from the actual site of Francis Scott Key’s death in 1843 at Mount Vernon Place. Meanwhile, William and Josephine’s daughter, Louie Key (Ellert), was living in Frederick with her grandmother Josephine (Nelson) Baltzell at the home on East Second Street.
Thanks to the earlier obituary on Dr. William H. Baltzell from 1899, I learned that Josephine Key was residing in Cuba at this time. I don’t know when she returned, but the couple would eventually return to Washington, DC.
William T. Key died on January 10th, 1909 in New Orleans, Louisiana. I don’t know if he was just visiting or residing there with Josephine. Perhaps it was simply a winter escape to warmer surroundings in retirement. William appears to have been buried in the family crypt in Thibodaux, Louisiana.
As a recent widow, Josephine can be found in the 1910 census living with her mother and son Nicholas Sewall at the home on E. 2nd St in Frederick. She would die five years later on February 12th, 1914 at the age of 54. At the time, she was living in Washington, DC with one of her sons. Josephine Key would be laid to rest in the Baltzell family lot here in Mount Olivet (Area E/Lot 29).
There was some definite confusion as our records contain an interment card for William T. Key who is buried right next to Josephine. However, this is not her husband, although our electronic database mistakenly says it is. An original interment card is in conflict and says that this individual passed in Washington, DC on January 26th, 1920 and was 38 years of age. His profession was listed as machinist.
I realized that this was William, Jr., the same son that was living with his father on St. Paul place in the 1900 census. Again, a difficulty lies in the fact that there is no 1890 census to connect him with both parents.
I did find William Key (possible misspelling) in the 1910 census. This gentleman was boarding with a couple on Columbia Avenue and his profession was listed as a machinist working for the B & O Railroad. It’s not far-fetched that this is the same gentleman who died in January, 1920 in Washington.
Either way, William is in an unmarked grave, right next to his mother in the Baltzell family lot.
Thanks to a random meeting of a family from Indiana in March of 2017, I discovered extended members of the family of our most famous resident, found a connection to our Historical Society and was able to clear up a clerical error in our cemetery records database. Best of all, I was able to help the Ellerts understand their genealogy a bit better and take away fond thoughts of Frederick, Maryland.
Another January, and the annual “great re-start” opportunity for each of us. The time for putting New Years’ resolutions in play—"out with the old, in with the new.”
I recently found myself perusing an old, local newspaper from January, 1914 and saw that a popular department store in downtown Frederick seemed to be practicing this mantra to a “T” as they were promoting a yearly clearance sale. Much like our popular county fair, the importance and scope of this event even included the adjective “Great.”
The peculiar family name of this mercantile establishment is no stranger to Fredericktonians as it has been here since our earliest days. The business, itself, carried on through three generations overlapping two centuries, and is commonly known to many local historians and history buffs.
Of course, clearing out inventory at Christmas and years-end is a goal of most businesses, anticipating new fashions and improved products. The Doll Brothers’ Department Store on North Market Street was something to behold. Whenever I think of it, my mind conjures up a giant dollhouse as a play on the German surname “Dohld” which was anglicized along the way to the English “Doll.”
Speaking of dollhouses, in the heyday of this business, there was a three-act play that gained attention and it was called A Doll’s House, written by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. It premiered at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark on December 21st, 1879, having just been published earlier that month. The play is set in a Norwegian town circa 1879.
Although having no close parallel to Frederick whatsoever, the play is significant for the way it deals with the fate of a married woman, who at the time in Norway lacked reasonable opportunities for self-fulfillment in a male-dominated world. This point stood paramount, despite the fact that Ibsen denied it was his intent to write a feminist play. It aroused a great sensation at the time, and caused a "storm of outraged controversy" that went beyond the theatre to the world of newspapers and society. More recently, in 2006, the centennial of Ibsen's death, A Doll's House held the distinction of being the world's most performed play in that year.
A movie version of the play appeared in 1917 and starred the famed actor Lon Chaney, known for starring roles in such silent horror films as The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and The Phantom of the Opera (1925). Of course, I first heard his name as it was mentioned in Warren Zevon’s 1978 smash-hit song “Werewolves of London.” Chaney's ability to transform himself using his own makeup techniques earned him the nickname "The Man of a Thousand Faces.
I did find mention that Ibsen's play was the center of a dramatic reading at the City Opera House in February, 1914. The woman who did the honors was a talented actress named Madame Harriet Labadie.
I could only imagine if either of the Doll Brothers, Charles Joseph Doll or younger sibling Roger Allen Doll, were in the audience that night in the building we call Brewer’s Alley Restaurant today? Whether they were or were not, their fabled store was only a stone’s throw away.
To give a history on these brothers and the business they ran as third generation operators, I found my answer in T.J.C. Williams’ History of Frederick, Maryland (published 1910). It featured biographies on these brothers, as well as their father (George Joseph Doll) and grandfather (Ezra Doll). Ezra is said to have started the dry goods business.
A search in old newspapers provided me with a very bizarre article about the death of the brothers’ great-grandfather, Joseph Doll (b. 1748) and regarded as an Associator (a member of volunteer military association) during the American Revolution. Mr. Doll was apparently the unfortunate victim of a lethal bolt of lightning and his macabre death was eloquently told in the Republican Advocate newspaper of Frederick in their June 7th, 1805 edition.
Now for the biography on the Dolls found in Williams' History of Frederick County:
“The Doll Brothers, comprising Charles J. and Roger A. Doll, are the proprietors of the leading department store in Western Maryland, located at No. 205-9 North Market Street, Frederick, Md.
Ezra Doll, the grandfather of Charles J. and Roger A. Doll, was for many years a merchant in Frederick City. He was descended from one of the earliest settled families in Frederick County. It was in his store that G. J. Doll, the father of the members of the above firm, received his first practical insight into mercantile methods. He evinced exceptional aptitude for his chosen pursuit from the very outset, and for over forty-five years was one of the most successful merchants of Frederick. He directed the affairs of his establishment with an ability, foresight and sagacity that stamped him as a man of high executive capacity and rare mercantile acumen. To his forceful personality was due much of the prestige and prosperity attained by him, and he became widely prominent in mercantile circles as one of the ablest and most representative men identified with that branch of industry. A merchant of the old school, whose business methods were characterized by the highest principles, he commanded respect and confidence of business and financial circles generally.
I couldn't find much more on Ezra other than he dabbled in politics, and owned property (10 and 12 East 5th Street from 1825-1838) in town. He also owned farms outside town with part of Bear Den (Worman's Mill vicinity) and another property on Old Annapolis Road. Jacob Engelbrecht recorded the death of Ezra Doll in his famed diary on Thursday, September 29th, 1842:
“Died yesterday morning in the 43rd year of his age Mr. Ezra Doll of our vicinity, farmer, son of the late Joseph Doll, Junior, & son in law of the late George Zieler. Buried on the German Reformed graveyard.”
Ezra Doll's body would be removed to Mount Olivet from the German Reformed graveyard (today's Memorial Park) at the time of his wife Harriet's death in February, 1886. Both are buried beneath a sizeable monument in Area C/lot 170.
George Joseph Doll was only 14 years old when his father died in 1842. He had to grow up fast to assist his widowed mother and younger siblings. The 1850 census shows the Dolls living in downtown Frederick. George is referred to by his middle name "Joseph" and is working as a cabinetmaker. His brother Samuel would follow in this trade based at the Doll residence confirmed to be on the southside of E. 2nd Street between Market and Middle Alley as mentioned earlier.
Williams' History of Frederick County says the following about George Joseph Doll:
“G. J. Doll was a native of Frederick County, where he was born in 1829, and died in 1895. In politics he was a Republican, and a Union sympathizer during the Civil War. In religion he was an active and consistent member of the Lutheran Church. Fraternally, he was a member of the Masons and numerous other organizations. Mr. Doll was married to Elizabeth Wisong. They were the parents of nine children, eight of whom grew to maturity: Ellen Virginia, the wife of L. P. Sheerer, of Charlotte, N.C.; Elizabeth W., unmarried, of Frederick City; Charles J., of whom presently; Melville E., office clerk for Doll Brothers; Henry W., employed by the Baltimore Bargain House, Baltimore, Md.; Roger A., of whom presently; George J., in the employment of the Frederick City Brush works; and Frank A., deceased.”
George J. Doll originally went into business with a man named Caleb A. Anders (1828-1888). The earliest advertisements for this partnership were from the summer of 1857. By spring of the following year, Mr. Doll was the sole proprietor. He had quickly built up his reputation after opening his mercantile store of dry goods and groceries. In other pursuits, George J. Doll was quite active with the Junior Fire Company, and possessed musical talents to lead their company musical group named "the American Band."
The Civil War would captivate the minds and lives of Frederick residents over the next half decade. It would also impede commerce and regular business as well. Ironically, I found an advertisement from 1860 in which Mr. Doll was touting extension skirts fashioned by "Southern Belles," although he would prove to be a steadfast Union man. He did not serve in the military because of his business standing, but the Mr. Doll's business was slowed during the period. He also had a large family to tend to as well during this turbulent decade. George J. Doll bought the property that is now 205-207 North Market Street in 1863, the site of his successful store.
George J. Doll bought the house currently sitting at 11-13 West 2nd Street in 1872 for his home (his heirs sold it in 1909). Like other successful businessmen, he had a country home as well. George owned the property originally known as Mount Prospect and later as "Cronise's Prospect" from 1868 to 1872. This is known as "Poff's Prospect" today and is located at 11530 Auburn Road, just south of Springfield Manor on the west side of US 15 north of Frederick west of Lewistown. At the same time, he also owned a 13-acre mountain tract. Mr. Doll also bought a 446-acre property known as "Surry" on the Woodsboro Turnpike in 1893 which his heirs sold in 1910.
George J. Doll did a great deal to improve his business, including a major renovation in 1875. His son Charles Joseph Doll would join him in business around this time at the age of 16.
I couldn't determine who the gentleman, or brother, referred to with the firm's name of G. J. Doll & Bro. in the late 1860s and early 1870s. However, I did find that a few years after the store renovation, it came time for George to groom his heir apparent in the form of his oldest son, Charles Joseph Doll. This occurred in 1889. The firm's name was changed to G. J. Doll & Son at this time.
(Williams' History) “Charles J. Doll, of the firm of Doll Brothers, was born August 14, 1859. In politics he is a Republican, and is a consistent member of the Lutheran Church. He is a director of the Farmers’ and Mechanics National Bank of Frederick. Mr. Doll was married to Mary L. Cramer, of Frederick City, who is descended of an old and respected family of Frederick County. They are the parents of two children: Frank A. and Marianna.
Roger A. Doll, younger partner in the firm of Doll Brothers, was born October 26, 1873. He was married to E. L. Sanders. There is no issue by this marriage."
Just a few years after his official retirement in 1893, George J. Doll passed at the age of 66 on December 1st, 1895. The official cause of death was paralysis from Brights Disease. He would be buried in his father's extended lot in Area C/Lot 172.
Charles and Roger did their father proud and continued to grow the business into the 20th century. The Williams' history continues with a vivid description of their triumphs:
(Williams' History) "In 1893, Charles J. and Roger A. Doll established the present firm of Doll Brothers, at the stand of their father. The business was a success from the start, and continued to grow until their quarters became inadequate and a new building was erected by them in 1906. The edifice is a handsome three-story brick structure, 38 feet in width and 100 feet in depth, finished in hard oak and hard oil finishing. In the construction and design of the building, and adaptation to business, there is evinced an amount of care and study down to the smallest details that is truly remarkable. The first floor is devoted to dry goods, dress goods, notions, etc.; the second floor to carpets, rugs, mattings, etc.; also, ladies’ suits, cloaks, waists and other things in that line. The third floor is for reserve stock. The building is electrically lighted, and the pneumatic tube cash system is used. The firm carries the largest stock of its kind in Western Maryland, and Charles J. Doll, who does the buying, makes weekly trips to Baltimore in order to keep their stock constantly refreshed.”
The firm would continue to prosper in the decades to follow, but a tragic event would occur in 1930. After a lengthy and relaxing vacation in Atlantic City, Charles J. Doll would return to work in the family store, but not for long. On July 2nd, 1930, Mr. Doll apparently became distraught over the death of close friend and fellow Frederick merchant, D. Columbus Kemp. He would surprisingly take his own life on this very day sending shock waves through the community.
Another sad part of this story gleaned through recent research came in finding that Charles' wife, Mary (Cramer) Doll had to endure the tragedy of suicide of loved ones twice in her life. Her father, also a noted businessman in town, took his own life in a similar manner as her husband back in November of 1893. His name was George William Cramer.
Roger Doll would take over the family business with assistance from Charles’ son-in-law, Alvin H. Crawford, Sr. who had married Marianna Doll. Mr. Crawford had been made a partner back in 1924.
However, just over a year beyond Charles’ death, the firm called it quits.
Roger would enjoy his retirement. He eventually died in 1958 and would be buried in the same lot on Area T as his brother and business partner for all those years.
Parsons Store, under the direction of I. Manning Parsons, Jr., would take the place of Doll Brothers in 1931 and had a very successful run in its own right of 53 years. Alvin H. Crawford, Sr. was retained as manager for Parsons Store. I found the old newspapers filled with ads for Mr. Parson's business. I was particularly impressed with ads from the 1950s in which he touted his establishment being entirely air-conditioned.
In 1984, next-door neighbor Connie Cook (of Connies) purchased the building and business from Mr. Parsons. Today the old Doll Building is home to a "home goods store" called Creme de la Creme. Looking at photographs of this latest endeavor online, it's easy to imagine and envision the Doll Brothers Store of a century ago and more.
From the street or sidewalk outside, one can look high atop the north side of the structure (and next door neighbor Bushwallers) and faintly make out the word "cloaks" within the advertising message painted on the facade for Parsons. This message covered up an earlier one for Doll Brothers, or perhaps just the store owner's name was all that changed. What a great business legacy this "dollhouse" has had.
Christmastime is here—literally and figuratively, of course.
I decided to look for a few interesting connections to Christmas at Mount Olivet, employing, of course, my keen senses, research skills and my uncanny curiosity to find relations between those interred in our cemetery and local, state and national history. I also enjoy linkages to pop culture, past and present. I have gathered a few yuletide tidbits pertaining to three specific individuals to share with you. But before I get to that, I’d like to share some intriguing items found in a local newspaper edition from Christmas 1862.
Since I’m still running on fumes from our recent “Wreaths Across America” Day and program here at Mount Olivet last weekend, I still have military veterans firmly on my mind—and how could I not? One location (in the cemetery) that received a good number of wreaths last week was a quiet corner located on the southernmost tip of Area C. This is where 17 former Union soldiers are buried in a 3-lot parcel bought, and owned, by the local Frederick Chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic.
After the American Civil War, this veteran's organization was commonly referred to as the G.A.R., founded on April 6th, 1866, in Decatur, Illinois. As a benevolent organization to help with health and burial needs of Union veterans, one can find G.A.R. symbolism and monuments throughout American cemeteries marking the graves of men and women who served during the war.
This spring, I plan to tackle a lengthier discussion on this particular lot and those in it with a specifically aimed “Story in Stone.” As for this “holiday edition” of our blog, I’d like you the reader to put yourself in the shoes of a Frederick soldier or civilian resident experiencing Christmas, 1862 with the country at war. To give context, the attack on Fort Sumter was in April, 1861, and the First Battle of Bull Run occurred on July 21st, of 1861 in Manassas, Virginia. Just over a year later, the Second Battle of Bull Run took place in late August and was a decisive Confederate victory. This prompted Gen. Robert E. Lee to cross the Potomac River and bring the war to the North (or Union) for the first time. The first major, northern (or Union) town he would bring his Army of Northern Virginia would be Frederick in early September.
The Rebels entered on September 4th and 5th and stayed until the 10th. The rest, as they say, is history. These soldiers were mostly seen as unwelcome guests, and they departed heading west out of town toward the Middletown Valley, and points on the other side of South Mountain. Two high-pitched battles would follow: The battle of South Mountain occurred at three mountain gaps west of Middletown and Burkittsville on September 14th, followed by the Battle of Antietam just three days later.
These two conflicts brought two major armies through our area as Gen. George McClellan and the Union Army of the Potomac pursued the Confederates coming up from Washington, DC and through Frederick city and county. The result of both battles made “one vast hospital” out of Frederick as all public buildings, schools, churches and private homes were commandeered in an effort to take care of the large number of wounded and sick men of both armies.
Sufficed to say, it was a troubling fall and winter. Certainly not to downplay our last two holiday seasons with Covid-19 at the forefront, but this was a true time of turmoil where people were dying at the hands of fellow Americans. The Union was under siege, and no end or compromise was clearly in sight. I found it interesting that a newspaper edition of the Maryland Union was published and distributed on Thursday, December 25th of that year.
I’m thinking that the thirst for knowledge and information at this particular time certainly outweighed the opportunity to take the day off from continued critical thinking amidst the hostile environment of the country at that time. In that newspaper of Christmas Day, our cemetery’s first superintendent, William T. Duvall provided the newspaper with a bi-weekly report of the Civil War dead that had been buried in Mount Olivet from December 6th through 20th. To give some context, Mount Olivet had an agreement in place with the federal government to bury the dead from both armies, but did so in two distinct rows along the cemetery’s northern and western perimeters.
Listing of the dead
Note that there were many more Union soldiers than Confederate? Today, those Confederate soldiers listed are still resting here, but as for the Union boys, most that perished during wartime and subsequently buried here like those listed in the article were moved to Sharpsburg and the national cemetery dedicated on September 17th, 1867. This was the fifth anniversary of “the bloodiest one-day battle in US history.“
Back to that newspaper of December 25th, 1862. The war naturally dominated the news of the day, just like the Omicron variant, mask mandates and vaccine debates of today. I found another prominent article talking about Col. Henry Cole and his cavalry outfit. Cole was commander of this group originally organized as the 1st Potomac Home Brigade Cavalry, and better known as Cole's Cavalry of Maryland Volunteers (1861-1865).
Again, this gentleman will be the recipient of a future story. I will say that he was living in Baltimore at the time of his death in 1909 at age 70, but is buried here in Mount Olivet’s Area R/Lot 98. His grave also received a wreath last week as part of our Wreaths Across America program.
Further down the newspaper column, I found another treat—the obituary of our legendary heroine of the Civil War, the incomparable Barbara Fritchie. Barbara had actually died the previous Thursday on December 18th at the age of 96, having had a birthday just weeks before on December 8th, 1862.
You may be surprised that there was absolutely no mention of Barbara’s flag-waving heroics at all in this obituary, something you would certainly expect to see mention of. Based on her fame as a folk hero, I think a headline announcing her death on the front page would have been warranted, but alas, this was simply page 2 news!
There is a reason this did not happen, and the simple explanation is that John Greenleaf Whittier would not write his famous poem until the following year of 1863. It was published in the Atlantic Monthly magazine in October 1863. And that’s when the name of Barbara Fritchie became a household name in the North, and a “propagandic strike” at Confederate chivalry in the South.
Barbara Fritchie became famous, as did her hometown. The Barbara Fritchie we know today can be somewhat contradicted by this humble obituary, and lack of news coverage throughout the fall of 1862 for this sacred event and the validity of her supposed actions on September 10th, 1862 at her home on West Patrick Street by Carroll Creek. You may recall that Frederick diarist Jacob Engelbrecht commented on the incident in his diary, remarking that the article in the magazine was the first he had heard of it, as he lived directly across the street and noticed nothing of the sort occurring throughout that particular day and involving the feeble, nonagenarian.
A final thing in this particular newspaper caught my eye. It was a Christmas-themed advertisement for Henry Goldenberg’s millinery business on Market Street. Interestingly, I researched this gentleman a few years back, but he is not buried in Mount Olivet. Mr. Goldenberg ran his business out of a shop a few doors north of the Market House (today’s location of Brewers Alley). This location was formerly the site of the above-mentioned Jacob Engebrecht’s tailoring shop, a business whom he partnered with for some time with his brother, Michael, before moving to a new location across the street from the Fritchie home on West Patrick Street.
The Baltimore native, Mr. Goldenberg, would continue to be prosperous here in Frederick until making a fateful decision to re-locate to Johnstown, PA in March, 1884. Five years later, Henry Goldenberg would be a victim of our country’s most infamous flood on May 31st, 1889. To read more, click on the button below to read a story I wrote about Mr. Goldenberg back in May, 2020 for my HSP History Blog.
We have left 1862 and now I have you time traveling to a century ago to look at Christmas, 1921. Life around these parts had truly returned to normal, especially considering the situation and mood in town three years previously. Perhaps you could say it was reminiscent of Christmas 1862 in a way?
In 1918, our troops had just experienced victory on the battlefields of France on November 11th with the armistice to end the First World War. Celebration was tempered here at home, however, because we were still battling a formidable foe in the form of the Great Spanish Flu pandemic which had killed 50,000,000 worldwide and created 500 million cases. One hundred of these victims are buried here in Mount Olivet, including three brothers of the Toms family. The third of these, Lester A. Toms, died on December 22nd and was buried here on Christmas Eve.
Aside from this depressing news, I was happy to find two articles that made me smile. Both featured individuals buried here in Mount Olivet, James Alonza Jones and Thomas Henry Haller. Mr. Jones was mentioned in one of my earlier “Stories in Stone” entitled “Casey Jones you Better, Watch your Speed” from August, 2017.
In this foray, I found two Frederick men with the nickname of “Casey” Jones like the famed John Luther “Casey” Jones of Tennessee immortalized as an American folk hero thanks to an original song by Wallace Saunders. Some may be more familiar with the later song of the same name by the Grateful Dead, which puts a more psychedelic spin on the old legend.
Our two Mount Olivet “Casey Jones” include Charles Edwin Jones (1871-1950) in Area OO/Lot 132 and George Arthur Jones (1895-1971). This latter gentleman's father, James Alonza Jones (1870-1939), headed Frederick City’s police department from 1901-1910 and was elected Frederick County Sheriff in 1921. He also served as superintendent for the Montevue Home for the Aged before, and after, his term as sheriff.
James A. Jones’ name made the paper quite a bit, including early November of 1921 when he was victorious in the Sheriff’s race for county elections that year. However, just over a month on the job, Jones did something on Christmas that would surely endure him to me.
James A. Jones made a strong statement through this kind gesture on this day. He passed in 1939 and is buried in Area P/Lot 188 next to wife Clara Margaret (Crum) Jones.
In this same edition of The Frederick News, I found a curious little message in the form of a print ad and attributed to one, Thomas H. Haller. It was entitled A Christmas Song. His message was an age old one.
Thomas Henry Haller was born in the vicinity of South Market Street on December 8th, 1855, the son of Thomas Henry Haller, Sr. and Caroline Rebecca Fessler. His obituary is crammed with amazing achievements in regard to Frederick’s history. The prominent businessman headed up his own dry goods store for decades, along with taking the helm as a director for other amazing companies and endeavors such as the Union Knitting Mills, the Frederick and Hagerstown Railway and the Economy Silo Factory. Linkages with the Citizens Bank and Frederick Building Company also come as no surprise.
Mr. Haller would pass on October 21st, 1935 at the time living at 101 Council Street adjacent the former county courthouse. He is buried in Area MM/Lot 84, not far from Gov. Thomas Johnson. His obituary paints quite a life story—one that explains his mantra and message of Peace on Earth and Good Will to Men as he was heavily involved in Frederick’s charitable and benevolent activity throughout his adult life. I also found these memorials in the newspaper in the days following his death as they pertained to Mr. Haller and two financial oriented Boards he participated on through the “Roaring 20s,“ followed by “the Stock Market Crash of 1929” and “Great Depression Era” to follow.
When I read about the Frederick Building Company, I somehow thought of the Christmastime classic movie that revolves around a small-town building and loan company of this era. I’m, of course, talking about the fictional Bailey Building & Loan of Bedford Falls (NY) from the 1946 Frank Capra film It’s a Wonderful Life. The firm in question was started by Peter Bailey in 1903, and later turned over to the film’s central character, George Bailey, played by actor Jimmy Stewart.
George Bailey was born in 1907, and the film opens with a children’s group sledding scene taking place around the time of Christmas, 1918. Multiple kids are sledding on a frozen pond, including 12-year-old George and his kid brother, Harry (b. 1911). Unfortunately, Harry was too young to control his sled away from a weak spot on the ice, and soon plunged into the frigid water below. Without hesitation, George heroically saved the life of his younger brother by unselfishly jumping into the water and pulling his brother to safety. In the process, George lost the hearing in his left ear as a result.
The movie eventually flashes forward to 1929, and the death of George’s father, saddling him with running the family business (Bailey Building and Loan) and squelching his dream since childhood of traveling the world. George would begrudgingly sacrifice his utmost desire in order to serve his fellow citizens and neighbors in Bedford Falls, a decision he would continue to regret.
A lot happens along the way including George starting a family, but a confrontation against the villainous town scrooge, Mr. Henry F. Potter, and a series of missteps and trials puts George on the brink of committing suicide. George says he wishes he hadn’t been born at all, thinking his life was a waste and the world is a better place without him. An angel named Clarence is sent to intercede and shows George just how many lives he touched along the way. If George Bailey hadn’t been born, a chain reaction of terrible things would have beset many characters already introduced in the movie, not to mention the town of Bedford Falls would be a far different place.
One of the worst of these “losses” would have surely resulted in the death of George’s brother, Harry, who would grow up to be a decorated pilot in World War II. Harry’s bravery saved multiple lives of serviceman aboard a transport ship through his heroics in battle. George’s little brother later became a successful businessman. As George earlier showed jealousy towards his younger brother’s successes, he now sees the light that his selfless acts and sacrifices allowed people like his brother to live and succeed, thus he could share in these amazing triumphs as well.
Well that long description brings me to my last person of interest to tell you about here who connects to Christmas. We do not have a George Bailey here at Mount Olivet, but we do have a Harry George Bayley! He is buried in Area B/Lot 144.
Now finding info on this individual was quite difficult. He was born in Frederick in June, 1880, the son of Frye Bayley and Mary Margaret Rosanna Haller (1857-). Once again, to show that Frederick was still a small town in the big picture, Mary, aka Mamie, Haller was a first cousin of our forementioned Christmas poet—merchant/building and loan man Thomas Henry Haller. Mary’s father, Michael Henry Haller (1811-1889) and Thomas’ father, John Thomas Haller (1816-1882), were brothers and sons of Tobias Haller (1775-1818) and wife Matilda Elizabeth Heichler (1772-1863).
Frye W. Bayley, an auditor for the B&O Railroad and Mary who was listed as a mantua maker in the 1880 census. In the 1900 census, the family can be found living at 972 Riggs Avenue near the intersection with North Fulton Avenue in northwest Baltimore. Up the street on the right corner is Mount Pisgah CME Church. Harry was the oldest of three children, having two younger sisters in Lidie and Bessie.
Details of Harry Bayley’s life are scarce as I said, as our subject’s life was cut short of experiencing “a wonderful life,” dying at the age of 21. Our records simply say that Harry died of complications of disease on June 2nd, 1902 in his hometown of Baltimore. His body would be delivered to Frederick by train, and he was buried in a plot on Area B/Lot 144 as mentioned earlier. This was a lot where his grandparents were buried, and today includes several aunts, uncles and a few maiden great aunts from his mother’s Haller family.
Harry G. Bayley’s parents lived for decades after. They are not buried here at Mount Olivet, but rather Lorraine Park Cemetery in Baltimore. His father died in 1933, and Frederick native mother in 1952.
I thought about poor Harry George Bayley the other night as I enjoyed my annual viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life. I read that Frank Capra once affirmed the movie’s purpose in an interview. He said:
“The importance of the individual is the theme that it tells: that no man is a failure and that every man has something to do with his life. If he’s born, he’s born to do something.”
George Bailey’s biography shows us that every life holds infinite possibilities, sending ripples out into the farthest reaches of the world. I like to apply that to all who are buried in Frederick’s Mount Olivet Cemetery, and burying grounds everywhere.
What a nice thought when strolling through a cemetery, and thinking about the countless “lives once lived.” So many connections when I ponder how many peoples’ lives here were affected, shaped, and molded, (hopefully for the better), by others who may well lie in close proximity in our garden cemetery. Regardless of the stresses, strains and challenges of life be it 1862, 1918, 1921 or 2021, we all have the ability to see the wonders and good in life, and how we may affect family, friends and aquaintances in the process of living from day to day.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and thanks for the support of Mount Olivet’s preservation of history over the past year.
With 2022 on the doorstep, consider a membership in the Friends of Mount Olivet where our mission is to preserve the historic records, structures and stones of the cemetery. In addition to those wanting to do volunteer history research and stone cleaning, we also have a calendar of special social events ranging from lectures and walking tours to other special events and get-togethers.
Well, it’s that special time of year once again here at Mount Olivet, and no, I’m not talking about Christmas. While the cemetery looks great with many grave monuments decorated for the holiday season, I’m instead referring to the third of Mount Olivet’s commemorative military trifecta--Wreaths Across America. The others include Memorial and Veteran days.
We have over 4,000 men and women buried here who served in the US military. Many participated in active combat in conflicts including the American Revolution, War of 1812, the Mexican War, American Civil War, Spanish-American War, the World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf War and Afghanistan. As more and more research is done, we seem to find our total number of vets here growing.
Unlike Arlington or other veteran cemeteries, we have military men and women representing 10% of our cemetery grave population. (40,000+). This makes identifying veterans buried here without military markers a tough task. This is especially true if the individual in question moved here from elsewhere after completing their service.
This Saturday, December the 18th, 2021, we will be hosting our fourth annual Wreaths Across America (WAA) Day. We won’t be alone, of course, but joined simultaneously by the fore-mentioned Arlington National Cemetery down the road, and over 1,600 additional locations throughout the United States, and at sea and abroad. Each site will include a host of volunteers and sponsors celebrating WAA’s mission of Remembering, Honoring and Teaching through the placement of special wreaths on veteran graves.
This year, we came ever closer to our ultimate goal of covering all 4,000 graves with wreaths. Our final tally was 3,411, and again we sincerely thank all of our partners and sponsors for making this possible. On the other hand, we may not be thanking the “weather gods” as rain is in the forecast. This has been the case each year, however last December we were spared rain, but had eight inches of snow dumped on us three days before the event. This presented a challenge in uncovering graves to lay the wreaths, but we thankfully had our Veteran's Day flags on graves to help guide us.
All in all, the weather isn’t important, but remembering the magnitude of the sacrifices made by these men and women in uniform for our freedom and liberty is all that counts. This is why we are involved in this important program, and will continue to hold it here in a patriotic cemetery where the grave of the guy who wrote our national anthem is just inside our front gate.
In this installment of "Stories in Stone," I want to briefly call out two veterans whose grave sites will be adorned with wreaths this upcoming weekend. Other than having German lineage, they could not be more different. Each participated in conflicts separated by 130 years, however their lives were only separated by 57 years. They were both non-combatant members of infantry-based units, and played different roles than typical ground soldiers. One was a musician, and the other a nurse. Our subjects this week are Pvt. Michael Engelbrecht in Area Q, and 2LT Kathryn Hoffman in Area LL.
Private Michael Engelbrecht served as a principal musician in the Frederick County militia in the War of 1812. He served under Capt. James F. Huston and then Capt. Joseph Green from July 23rd to October 13th, 1814.
Engelbrecht was born in Frederick Town on February 14th, 1792. His father was Johann Conrad Engelbrecht of Germany. His father fought as a mercenary soldier under the British throne during the American Revolution. Michael’s father had been captured at Yorktown and he and his his “colleagues” were transported to our very own Frederick Hessian Barracks, located a few short blocks down from Francis Scott Key and our cemetery front gate.
These men were loosely guarded and found work at many local farms, owned by German immigrants who had migrated here in the decades predating the war. Several of these men decided to stay here after the war, not returning to Germany. Can you blame them? There was a great deal of strife happening back home in Western Europe, and Frederick Town was appealing for several reasons. These included: the German language was generally spoken more commonly than English here at this time; there was opportunity in the form of farming and working the trades including having a market for gifted immigrant craftsman. Best of all, there were plenty of cute and talented German females living in town and county who would make perfect marriage partners.
Johannes Conrad Engelbrecht (1758-1819) settled here and worked as a tailor, and married Anna Margareth Houx. His family home was in the first block of E. Church St., on the south side of the street, between the corner of Market Street and the alley that runs between Church and Patrick immediately west of Winchester Hall . This is where Michael grew up, surrounded by six siblings, as he was the third of seven children. These included Frederick (b. 1786-1843), John Conrad (1790-1847), George (1795-1874), Jacob (1798-1878) and Catherine (Engelbrecht) Hardt (1805-1885). You may be familiar with Michael's little brother Jacob Engelbrecht, as he had quite a way with his pen, keeping a diary from 1817 until his death. He wrote about everything and every person.
Michael attended school here and was a devout member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, practically just across the street from his home. Two of the Engelbrecht boys answered the call of the "Second War for Independence" against our old foe, Great Britain. Michael was 22 years-old in 1814, and held the position of "fifer" in the militia company led by Capt. James Huston and others. Michael's brother, William, served as well but under Capt. Nicholas Turbott and in the role of an infantry private.
I was curious as to the importance of fifers in warfare. A few years back. I marveled at the role of buglers in World War I as they were used as message "runners" for high command. This was the specific case with another veteran here at Mount Olivet named William Theodore Kreh.
A fifer is a non-combatant military occupation of a foot soldier who originally played this instrument during combat. The practice was instituted during the period of Early Modern warfare to sound signals during changes in formation, such as the line, and were also members of the regiment's military band during marches. These soldiers, often boys too young to fight or sons of NCOs, were used to help infantry battalions to keep marching pace from the right of the formation in coordination with the drummers positioned at the center and relayed orders in the form of sequences of musical signals.
The fife was particularly useful because of its high-pitched sound, which could be heard over the sounds of battle. Fifers were present in numerous wars of note, as Armies of the 18th and 19th centuries "depended on company fifers and drummers for communicating orders during battle, regulating camp formations and duties, and providing music for marching, ceremonies, and moral."
All I can share with you about Michael Engelbrecht's military experience is what I can glean from Sallie A. Mallick and F. Edward Wright's Frederick County Maryland Militia in the War of 1812 (2008).
The Company of Captain Lewis (Emmitsburg Area) served from July 23, 1814 until January 10, 1815. They served at Bladensburg, Annapolis and Baltimore. According to one veteran, Captain Lewis Weaver commanded the company at the Battle of Bladensburg and after the engagement took his company to Baltimore. They arrived at camp outside of Baltimore on September 4, 1814. At some point he was cashiered and succeeded by Captain James Huston who in turn was succeeded by Captain Joseph Green of Emmitsburg who remained in command until the company was discharged on January 10, 1815 at Annapolis.
Sergeant Martin Shultz stated that when Captain Huston was taken sick he returned to Frederick and never rejoined the regiment. From that point the company remained under the command of Lieutenant Thomas W. Morgan until Captain Green took command and retained it until the company was discharged. A reference is made in the Frederick-town Herald to the departure of a company under the command of Captain James Huston during the last week of July of 1814. From this item it can be concluded that Huston first commanded the company followed by Weaver, perhaps Morgan, and finally Green.
On December 31, 1814, a reward was posted in the Frederick-town Herald for deserters from this company. Fifty had deserted in Baltimore, three deserted at Annapolis and two had deserted at Bladensburg. Captain Green offered $550.00 for the return of the men at his headquarters at Annapolis.
Mallick and Wright included a roll list from that period of July-October, 1814 that included the major activity in our region including the Battle of Bladensburg and the Battle of Baltimore at which Francis Scott Key put pen to paper and came up with that catchy song about the US flag. The roll includes the names all the non-commissioned militia members numbering 90 and 14 commissioned officers including the name of Capt. James Huston and another interesting find, George W. Hoffman. Hoffman was an ensign who was promoted to 2nd lieutenant on September 20th, 1814. (Note: Keep this nugget for later on in this story.)
Lastly, this company had three musicians: Michael Engelbrecht, George Shade and John Stauffer. Stauffer (1802-1878) was the drummer and apparently deserted on September 25th, 1814. Perhaps we need to cut this volunteer veteran some slack as he was only 12 years-old during the time of his military service. He lived out his life as a farmer in Woodsboro and would be re-buried here in Mount Olivet in 1924 from his original resting place of the Shiloh Methodist Protestant Churchyard in Walkersville. His gravesite is in Area U/Lot 78.
Michael’s obituary appeared in the Frederick Examiner newspaper in July of 1886. Here we can get a better image of this man and the life he experienced.
Two important notes to point out regarding this article. First, Engelbrecht was spelled incorrectly throughout the article, and I’m sure Jacob told the newspapers editor about it too. Secondly, Michael went into business with brothers Jacob and William on May 7th, 1841 at a location on N. Market Street between Church and Patrick streets. This was after his hiatus of a couple of decades where he had re-located to Geneva, Ontario County, NY.
Michael moved to upstate New York in 1814 and lived at the northern tip of Seneca Lake until 1830. I learned that he was employed in the tailoring business of Jacob and Sarah Backenstose, and eventually became a partner of this firm. Jacob Backenstose (1769-1813) was the first tailor in western New York and well-reputed among the elite. I assume that Mr. Backenstose' death prompted Michael's re-location as they could have been earlier associates or perhaps relatives of some degree.
Michael returned to Frederick in 1830 and would spend the next 56 years working and living in his native home. The tailoring shop operated by him and brother Jacob is said to have been located just a few doors north of the Market House (today's Brewer's Alley) in the 1859/1860 William's Frederick Directory City Guide.
To reiterate another part of the obituary in respect to Michael’s personal life and connections to Mount Olivet, I want to mention his wife and daughters. In 1838, on August 28th, Michael married Rebecca Reed McMullin in Philadelphia. Michael’s bride was born in 1802 in Port Penn, Delaware which today neighbors Delaware City, Delaware to its north—the hometown (and final resting spot) of my father, grandparents, great-grandparents and two earlier generations dating back to the early 19th century.
Sadly, Rebecca and Michael’s time would be cut short at less than a decade with her death on January 28th, 1847. She was only 45 years old. Rebecca was buried in the churchyard of Frederick’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. Michael would continue to raise their two known children into adulthood: Mary Ann Engelbrecht (1839-1880) and married William Henry Kline in 1860; and Rebecca Reed Engelbrecht (1841-1901) and married John Jacob Sahm, Jr. in 1864. Mary Ann is buried here in Area C/Lot 51 and Rebecca is in Area B/Lot 60.
Michael Engelbrecht was Frederick’s oldest resident at the time of his death. We already know the gift of a diary that Jacob left as his legacy, just imagine the stories told by Michael whose life spanned an amazing time in our country. Fittingly, he is buried close by our town’s most famous nonagenarian who achieved the same age of 96—Barbara Fritchie.
A few months after his death, Rebecca Engelbrecht’s body was unearthed from its resting spot in the Lutheran churchyard and re-interred here with that of her husband.
Kathryn L. Hoffman
The front page of the Frederick News edition of January 19th, 1943 carried the sad news of the untimely death of a local woman serving the war effort on the opposite coast of the country. 2LT Kathryn L. Hoffman was a nurse serving at Fort Ord in Monterey, California.
Additional details would pepper the newspaper over the next several days as the young Adamstown resident would be fondly remembered as her body would make its way back home for burial. Kathryn was born May 26th, 1919 in Adamstown, the daughter of schoolteacher John Calvin Hoffman and wife, Mabel Viola (Whipp) Hoffman.
Kathryn’s mother would die on July 28th, 1930 at the age of 48. She would be buried on Area LL/Lot 162.
Mr. Hoffman would raise his three daughters into adulthood in the same manner as the fore-mentioned Michael Engelbrecht. He had help as he would re-marry, and this woman was named Lucy Schwartz. The girls would all do their mother proud. Helen Lenore (1910-2006) graduated from Hood College, and Mary Evelyn (1915-2001) Brown's husband, Carl E. Brown, was a familiar face at the C. Burr Artz Library Maryland Room for many years when I began my local history pursuits in the 1990s.
Kathryn Hoffman was a 1936 graduate of Frederick High School and 1940 graduate of the Frederick City Nursing School, part of the Georgianna Simmons Nurses Home located in conjunction with the former Frederick City Hospital, known until recently as Frederick Memorial Hospital.
Kathryn was no stranger to California as her older sister Helen (Hoffman) Holter had moved out there in the late 1930s. A newspaper article mentions a visit the young nurse had in 1940.
It appears that Kathryn was part of the Army’s Third Corps and stationed in Baltimore when she received her next assignment in mid-fall, 1941, just a few months before the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor.
Kathryn would be sent to Fort Ord, located on Monterey Bay. This installation was named for Edward Otho Cresap Ord (1818 – 1883) an American engineer and United States Army officer who saw action in the Seminole War, the Indian Wars, and the American Civil War. He commanded an army during the final days of the Civil War, and was instrumental in forcing the surrender of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Most interesting to me was the fact that Gen. Ord was a native of Cumberland, MD and descended from the legendary Cresaps of Oldtown, masters of the colonial Maryland frontier.
Today Fort Ord is no longer a US Army base having closed in 1994. Instead, in 2012 a 14,651-acre portion of the former post was designated a national monument which helps to interpret the installation’s history dating back to World War I. An online history of the fort states:
“After the American entry into World War I, land was purchased just north of the city of Monterey along Monterey Bay for use as an artillery training field for the United States Army by the U.S. Department of War. The area was known as the Gigling Reservation, U.S. Field Artillery Area, Presidio of Monterey and Gigling Field Artillery Range. Although military development and construction was just beginning, the War only lasted for another year and a half until the armistice in November 11, 1918.
Despite a great demobilization of the U.S. Armed Forces during the inter-war years of the 1920s and 1930s, by 1933, the artillery field became Camp Ord, named in honor of Union Army Maj. Gen. Edward Otho Cresap Ord, (1818–1883). Primarily, horse cavalry units trained on the camp until the military began to mechanize and train mobile combat units such as tanks, armored personnel carriers and movable artillery.
By 1940, the 23-year-old Camp Ord was expanded to 2,000 acres, with the realization that the two-year-old conflict of World War II could soon cross the Atlantic Ocean to involve America. In August 1940, it was re-designated Fort Ord and the 7th Infantry Division was reactivated, becoming the first major unit to occupy the post. Sub camps were built around the Fort to support the new training of Troops, Camp Clayton. Camp Clayton was built near CA Highway 1, the South Dakota National Guard 147th Artillery were the first unit to train at the new camp.
In 1941, Camp Ord became Fort Ord. But soon the first threat came from the west as the Imperial Japanese Navy struck the island of Oahu, Hawaii at Pearl Harbor near Honolulu in an unannounced air attack, Sunday, December 7, 1941. In a few days the other Axis powers, such as Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany, along with Fascist Italy of Benito Mussolini, declared and spread their war in Europe against Great Britain and France and the Low Countries to the U.S.”
LT. Hoffman spent the holidays at her new, and final, home of Fort Ord. This program of Christmas Day festivities was found online. LT. Hoffman's name appears on page 4. Please note that cigars and cigarettes were on the menu as part of the dinner, especially interesting for a hospital, right? It was a different era, all-together.
I became quite interested in the role and responsibilities associated with the Army Nurse Corps of World War II. I learned plenty from a brochure prepared in the U.S. Army Center of Military History by Judith A. Bellafaire. Here is a segment from Ms. Bellafaire’s publication (https://history.army.mil/books/wwii/72-14/72-14.htm):
“More than 59,000 American nurses served in the Army Nurse Corps during World War II. Nurses worked closer to the front lines than they ever had before. Within the "chain of evacuation" established by the Army Medical Department during the war, nurses served under fire in field hospitals and evacuation hospitals, on hospital trains and hospital ships, and as flight nurses on medical transport planes. The skill and dedication of these nurses contributed to the extremely low post-injury mortality rate among American military forces in every theater of the war. Overall, fewer than 4 percent of the American soldiers who received medical care in the field or underwent evacuation died from wounds or disease.
The tremendous manpower needs faced by the United States during World War II created numerous new social and economic opportunities for American women. Both society as a whole and the United States military found an increasing number of roles for women. As large numbers of women entered industry and many of the professions for the first time, the need for nurses clarified the status of the nursing profession. The Army reflected this changing attitude in June 1944 when it granted its nurses officers' commissions and full retirement privileges, dependents' allowances, and equal pay. Moreover, the government provided free education to nursing students between 1943 and 1948.
Military service took men and women from small towns and large cities across America and transported them around the world. Their wartime experiences broadened their lives as well as their expectations. After the war, many veterans, including nurses, took advantage of the increased educational opportunities provided for them by the government. World War II changed American society irrevocably and redefined the status and opportunities of the professional nurse.
Early Operations in the Pacific
The Army Nurse Corps listed fewer than 1,000 nurses on its rolls on 7 December 1941, the day of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Eighty-two Army nurses were stationed in Hawaii serving at three Army medical facilities that infamous morning. Tripler Army Hospital was overwhelmed with hundreds of casualties suffering from severe burns and shock. The blood-spattered entrance stairs led to hallways where wounded men lay on the floor awaiting surgery. Army and Navy nurses and medics (enlisted men trained as orderlies) worked side by side with civilian nurses and doctors. As a steady stream of seriously wounded servicemen continued to arrive through the early afternoon, appalling shortages of medical supplies became apparent. Army doctrine kept medical supplies under lock and key, and bureaucratic delays prevented the immediate replacement of quickly used up stocks. Working under tremendous pressure, medical personnel faced shortages of instruments, suture material, and sterile supplies. Doctors performing major surgery passed scissors back and forth from one table to another. Doctors and nurses used cleaning rags as face masks and operated without gloves.
Throughout 1941 the United States had responded to the increasing tensions in the Far East by deploying more troops in the Philippines. The number of Army nurses stationed on the islands grew proportionately to more than one hundred.”
I am still very curious as to LT. Hoffman’s daily activity throughout 1942. Even though she was on the American mainland throughout, I’m sure it was a stressful yet gratifying work, the fruits of her education, study and training. An amazing young life taken far too young, but such was the case with so many involved with World War II and all conflicts for that matter.
One of the other unique findings seen while researching articles of LT. Hoffman’s funeral lies in the fact that her body was escorted back to Frederick by a LT. Gladys Beek. I wondered how the rest of her war experience played out? I started to go into that rabbit hole, but quickly jumped out and back on task.
LT Hoffman was buried on January 26th, 1943 in Area LL/Lot 162 next to her mother. Eight months later, her sisters would have the body moved to a spot roughly ten yards to the south in Lot 143. This would eventually be the resting place of Kathryn’s two sisters and their respective husbands. This move also facilitated the opportunity for their father to be buried alongside his first wife. In case you were concerned, Mrs. Lucy Hoffman is buried with Schwartz family members in Mount Olivet’s Area P.
Stories of 2LT Kathryn Hoffman and countless others laid to rest in Mount Olivet are priceless. I will never get tired of hearing about the people they call "the greatest generation." Those that put themselves in harm’s way, some making the greatest sacrifice, are the greatest of each generation in our country’s rich history. That’s why we must never minimize or forget the deeds of our veterans, long passed like Michael Engelbrecht and more recently with 2LT Hoffman. And don't forget those veterans who still live amongst us too.
Wreaths represent a circle of eternal life, symbolism dating back to Ancient Greece. This weekend they will be placed with care on over 3,400 graves. Thank you for your support in help making this happen each year.
Sometimes I’m simply inspired to write some of these “Stories in Stone” by the shape, size or uniqueness of a particular monument that catches my eye. This week’s blog follows that approach. When I first saw the grave memorial to Fanny Miller, I was intrigued by the design from a distance. As I approached to inspect closer, I learned that the decedent had passed on December 15th in the year 1888. On top of that, a unique piece of information came from the stone stating that Mrs. Miller had not died here locally in Frederick County, rather she had “breathed her last breath” in Upper Sandusky, Ohio.
Information was scarce regarding Fanny Miller, although I quickly learned from our cemetery records that she was the wife of a Mr. D. S. Miller, and her cause of death was due to cancer. Her maiden name was Whitter, which I learned is also an intransitive verb which means “to chatter or babble pointlessly or at unnecessary length.” I may well follow suit here, as this article is not one that definitively tells the life story of a person, or family for that matter. Regardless, the cultural origin of the surname “Whitter” seems to derive from the United Kingdom.
One of the defining figures of this monument is that it is designed as an elaborate stand for an urn. This vessel is crafted atop the work, and is covered by a cloth. You will see many draped objects in the cemetery as the shroud is a general symbol of mourning, but it may also symbolize a parting of the veil between this world and the next. Drapery was also an outward expression of mourning in the Victorian era (1837-1901), as heavy black fabric would be draped throughout the homes of those in mourning.
A few of Fanny’s family members are buried under this monument in Area Q/Lot 70, and their names appear on two of the other three remaining “faceplates” on this memorial. These include her mother, Susan E. (Hane) Whitter, and half-brother Thomas Luther Whitter.
Fanny was born with the given name Ann in 1843 in Frederick, the daughter of Thomas W. Whitter and Susan (Hane) Whitter. She wouldn’t really know her father that well as he died in 1846. As a matter of fact, Fanny’s mother’s time with Mr. Whitter was somewhat brief as well as she had only married him on October 8th, 1842. Susan was Thomas’ second wife as his first, Mary W., had died on December 17th, 1840 according to diarist Jacob Engelbrecht. Mary was originally laid to rest in the town’s Methodist burying ground on the east side of town along Middle Alley between Third and Fourth streets.
As for Susan Whitter, she was born August 26th, 1812 in Frederick as the daughter of John Hane, Sr. (1776-1855) and Ann Margaret Bartgis (1780-1862). Both Fanny and her mom are found living with the Hanes in the 1850 census.
The Hanes were faithful members of Frederick’s German Reformed Church, today known as the United Church of Christ and located in the first block of W. Church Street. The elder Hanes likely worshipped at both iterations of the church which began in the footprint of Trinity Chapel with the stone tower dating to 1763 and steeple of 1807 on the south side of the street, before building a new, larger structure on the north side of Church Street in 1848.
It’s always worth talking about the religious roots of Frederick because these congregations were the glue that held the community together back in the early days when Frederick Town was literally on the western frontier of Maryland. Within this howling wilderness, when attacks by hostile Indian tribes were a real possibility, these religious institutions not only represented the spiritual hearts of the fledgling community, but also served as the educational and social centers for our residents. In addition, it’s also where the dead were laid to rest. I’ve talked before about the two previously established German Reformed graveyards once located in downtown Frederick. Well I guess, I should rephrase, as the second of these simply left in name only.
The second Evangelical Reformed Church graveyard began around 1802, and was abandoned in operation in 1924. In that year, this former burying ground would receive an above ground makeover, and became the site of the Memorial Grounds Park, on the corner of W. Second and N. Bentz streets. A bronze plaque was erected to remember the existing burials of hundreds of Frederick’s earliest setters and their descendants.
Today, these individuals still reside below the many war monuments that create the viewscape above ground. A number of these internments were originally at the Trinity Chapel churchyard, before being moved here. Fronting on N. Bentz Street, a plaque in Memorial Grounds Park contains 366 inscriptions from the two cemeteries. Two of these are the fore-mentioned John Hane, Sr. and Anne Margaret Hane, grandparents and parents, respectfully, of Fannie (Whitter) Miller, and her mother (Susan (Hane) Whitter).
The Frederick Directory City Guide and Business Mirror of 1859-60 includes the names of Mrs. Anna Margaret Hane and daughter Susan, both widowed, living on the southside of E. Patrick Street between Middle Alley and Chapel Alley. The census of 1860 shows Fanny living with her mother and grandmother here.
Just a few years later, on August 16th, 1862, it appears that Fanny was married, but not to the fore-mentioned Mr. D. S. Miller. On this date, she wed Jeremiah C. Grove. I found little on this gentleman outside the strong possibility that he was the same Jeremiah C. Grove who was born in Hagerstown around 1845, and enlisted in the Union Army in 1864. I found a few advertisements in the Frederick papers as Mr. Grove was the proprietor of a shoe business on the first floor of Mrs. Whitter’s home of E. Patrick. The first of these ads appears in 1863. However, in 1866, I found another newspaper notice signed by Susan E. Whitter that the business was closing in May, 1866.
I couldn’t discover exactly what happened but it seems that Jeremiah re-located to Illinois and was remarried in November, 1868 and lived out his life in Ogle, Illinois. So I’m thinking there was either a divorce or desertion at play here for our subject Fanny. I got this notion before seeing the shoe store ads, as I desperately searched for Jeremiah and Fanny in the 1870 census. I still never located Fanny, but I found a Jeremiah C. Grove married to a Margaret Neff, who spent her youth in Washington County and her father was born in Frederick. Maybe the rekindling of a childhood romance caused divorce or abandonment in the case of Fanny Whitter? Or maybe Fanny went out to Illinois with him and things fizzled out for the couple?
David Selsor Miller
As for another person living in the Midwest for the 1870 census, I did find David Selsor Miller working on a farm in Brookfield, Iowa in 1870. His father (David Selsor Miller, Sr.), was a wealthy man from Virginia with Miller grandparents who had emigrated from Scotland to Maryland's Prince Georges County in the 1600s. David, Sr. had died in 1855. David's mother, Sarah Bent Miller, passed in 1859. I would find that his legal guardian would advertise a land sale on his behalf in 1859.
In 1860, David was living in his native home of Pitt Township in Wyandot County, Ohio with his sister Maria’s (Mrs. Robert Taylor) family who owned a farm, quite possibly the Miller family farm. Interestingly, the census shows that David had $5,000 in real estate to his name, perhaps from that sale the previous year?
In the 1860s, Mr. Miller apparently did some other land speculating down south, while selling off some of his holdings in northwest Ohio.
So how did Fanny and David meet? There was no Match.com back in the day so it makes you wonder. Did Fanny venture to Iowa or Ohio or Alabama? Did David travel to Maryland? The answer could be the latter as the couple were married on April 10th, 1873 in Baltimore where the bride was apparently living at the time. They would eventually re-locate to Ohio and can be found living in Upper Sandusky, Ohio by 1880 as that fact is established by the US Census of that year. On top of that, I took notice that the couple had a boarder living with them in the person of Susan (Hane) Whitter—Fanny’s mother.
I could not find anything on Fanny’s life in Ohio, just a few newspaper articles on her husband, a successful livestock and hay dealer who seemed to be financially sound with his real estate holdings. As stated earlier, Fanny died in Upper Sandusky on December 15th, 1888. David and Susan would send her body back home to Frederick, Maryland via train, where she would be delivered to Mount Olivet on December 17th.
Fanny Miller's burial would not be immediate. Whether the delay was based on transportation of other family members (from Ohio) or simply weather, our records show her burial date as January 28th, 1889. My first inclination for a six-week delay seems to be predicated on the weather at the time being perhaps too cold. Mount Olivet once had a structure called the public vault that stood on the site of today’s Key Memorial Chapel, a mortuary chapel built in 1911. The public vault was used to store corpses during periods in which the ground could not be dug by hand until warmer temperatures prevailed.
Two entries from Mount Olivet's interment books showing that the Public Vault was used as a temporary mausoleum to store Fanny Miller's body before burial. Interesting that a Firestone (a name synonymous with Ohio) would help take care of burial arrangements as he was husband to Fanny's half-sister, Rebecca (Whitter) Firestone.
Now, I am not sure if this was the case, as it may have just been a function of storing the body until the responsible parties of Fanny’s husband and mother could get to Frederick and make appropriate plans. Regardless, she would be laid to rest before the end of January, 1889.
Although having help from Fanny's local relatives here, I’m assuming that David took charge of the final funeral/burial arrangements for his wife, including placing the unique monument for his departed wife in our Area Q. Interestingly, this memorial depicting a shrouded urn on a large stand would be an exact duplicate, or bookend, of a monument in Upper Sandusky’s Oak Hill Cemetery on Lot D/Section 3. This exact style is marking the gravesite of David’s parents, with the names of his father on one of the four panels, and that of his mother on another.
I could not find a maker’s mark on our monument here in Mount Olivet, but I have reason to believe that it was made by the same craftsman/company that made the Millers monument in Oak Hill. When researching the cemetery, I also found Mr. Miller to be one of the founders. The Miller monument was most likely crafted by a firm in Ohio, and my gut tells me in Upper Sandusky. A little research led me to the Upper Sandusky Marble Works run by B. L. Bauscher. I truly think it was here, where our monument for Fanny was crafted as well.
Susan Whitter would move to Columbus, Ohio and would die of a hemorrhage just six days after her 82nd birthday on September 1st, 1894. Her body was sent back to Frederick by train like her daughter’s six years earlier, however, she would be laid to rest immediately upon reaching Mount Olivet on September 2nd.
As for husband David, I found him continuing his work and living with various family members over the next four decades after Fanny’s death. In the 1930 US census, he is living with his niece’s family. Her name was Mabel Bent (Taylor) Rall.
David S. Miller would still lead an active life in his final year on Earth. I was very pleased to find a news article of him making the final of many self-pilgrimages to California.
David Selsor Miller would die on December 7th, 1930. This was one week shy of the 42nd anniversary of Fanny's death. While he had an available plot here in Mount Olivet next to his wife and former mother-in-law, he would be buried in Oak Hill with his parents. His name adorns one of the four panels on the grave monument. Like the bookend version in Frederick, only three panels would be used.
I mentioned Fanny’s half-brother, Thomas Luther Whitter, being buried in Area Q/Lot 70. He was from the union of Fannie’s father, Thomas W. Whitter and first wife, Mary. I found that Fanny and Thomas’ father (Thomas) is buried in Mount Olivet’s Area A, along with the fore-mentioned Mary. As both had died before Mount Olivet was established, it gave me cause to check their re-interment dates here. I found that they were originally buried in Frederick’s Evangelical Lutheran burying ground at the southwest corner of E. Church and East streets. This re-location was performed on October 12th, 1863, by the direction of Rebecca (Whitter) Firestone, another half-sister of our subject, Fanny.
Born January 5th, 1832, Thomas Luther Whitter went by "Thomas," "Thomas Luther," "Thomas Lewis" and "Lewis." He spent a good amount of his working career in the employ of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad as a watchman. Mr. Whitter had both legs amputated as a result of an accident prior to 1863. In addition, I found that he also was the proprietor of a cigar shop in town on W. All Saints Street in the mid-1880s. He died of paralysis on July 28th, 1898 and was laid to rest by his mother and half sister on the 29th. His name adorns the third of four panels on the monument that gave rise to this story.
So, there you have it! I successfully provided a whole lot of chatter (Whitter) about two, unique grave monuments symbolizing large urn holders. More so, they represent symbolic bookends memorializing a couple buried 400 miles apart. Oddly, the old expression, “’Til death do you part” seems to be more than appropriate in this case.
So, yours truly has a big lecture gig coming up next week in which I will once again be sharing the history of Mount Olivet and discussing the lives of some of those individuals buried within it. My host is Baltimore’s legendary Enoch Pratt Free Library and my presentation will be part of their monthly Lunch and Learn Series sponsored by the Maryland Four Centuries Project, a grassroots, non-profit, independent program, laying the foundation for the commemoration of Maryland’s 400 years as a colony and state.
Unfortunately, I won’t be “performing” in person in “Charm City” due to Covid-19 restrictions, but rather this will be a virtual event in which I will be presenting via the Zoom video conferencing platform (over the internet) from the cozy, confines of my desk within our Mount Olivet administration offices located in the mausoleum chapel complex.
In preparing my program, I naturally sought out connections between Mount Olivet and my host site (and its founder), Enoch Pratt (1808-1896). I found interesting links to both the library and the man, himself, whose philanthropic gesture made this library system possible back in 1882. Interestingly, I found my connectors “etched in stone,” both literally and figuratively.
Two past “Stories in Stone” feature cemetery residents with definitive ties to this American businessman, born and raised in Massachusetts. Mr. Pratt would later move south to the Chesapeake Bay area and became devoted to the civic interests of the city of Baltimore. Beginning in the 1830s, he earned his fortune as an owner of several business interests, starting out as a hardware wholesaler. This later expanded into railroads, banking and finance, iron works, steamship lines and other transportation companies.
Back in July, 2017, I wrote a story titled Breakfast at Tiffany’s…or McDannolds. It was about a wealthy, young man named John Knight McDannold (b. 1874), who died on his way to Cuba for a pleasure trip in the winter of 1899. McDannold’s maternal grandfather, John Knight (1806-1864), is buried in the same plot, and had accrued a large fortune due to his successful operation of mercantile businesses and cotton plantations in Natchez, Mississippi before the Civil War.
Mr. Knight eventually moved to coastal southern France for health reasons, and while abroad, had Enoch Pratt oversee his financial holdings here stateside, while Pratt’s close friend, George Peabody, minded Mr. more of Knight’s money during Knight's stay in Europe. John Knight died in 1864 In France, but he had amassed a fortune which allowed his family to have his body brought back to the US and, in particular, Frederick, for burial. Area F/Lot 53 contains some stately monuments for not only Mr. Knight and his wife (Frances Z. S. (Beall) Knight), but also his daughter (Fanny K. (Knight) McDannold) and playboy grandson John Knight McDannold, whose grave stone was crafted by Tiffanys of New York. Thank you Mr. Pratt and Mr. Peabody—talk about a financial “dream team?”
Although not direct, another past “Story in Stone” which would have “future” Enoch Pratt implications was entitled “The Steiner Stone.” This blog was about the gravestone of Jacob Stoner (1713-1748), one of Frederick’s first German/Swiss settlers. He came here in the 1730s and built the famed Mill Pond House (no longer standing) and owned much of the lands that now comprise the Worman’s Mill development north of Frederick City, located off MD route 26. Stoner would also build one of Frederick Town’s first hotels on the southwest corner of Frederick’s Square Corner (Market and Patrick streets). This is the site of Colonial Jewelers today.
Stoner’s gravestone, like that of the Knights and McDannolds, is pretty remarkable as I venture to say that I believe it to be the oldest, formal surviving gravestone in western Maryland as it dates to 1748, the year our county was founded.
Okay, so how does this connect to Enoch Pratt or his library? Well, Jacob Stoner’s premature death at age at 35 left a widow and children. One of these was Capt. John Stoner(1735-1792), or as this family would revert back to the German spelling of the name—Steiner. Capt. John had a son Henry (1764-1831) who in turn had a son named Christian (1797-1862) who is buried in Mount Olivet’s Area C/Lot165. One of this Christian’s sons is our main person of interest for this week’s story. His name was Lewis Henry Steiner, and he would serve as the first librarian of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Lewis’ son, Bernard, would follow in his father’s footsteps at the Baltimore-based bibliotheque. These two "book-worthy" gentlemen are buried in Area G/Lot85 and make for fascinating “Stories in Stone.”
Lewis Henry Steiner
Talk about a great backstory. Lewis Henry Steiner was clearly a man of his times—well-educated, well-traveled, and well-accomplished. John T. Scharf’s History of Western Maryland, published in 1882, features an illustration (above) and character sketch of Lewis Henry Steiner which I will include here:
“Hon. Lewis Henry Steiner, M.D., was born in Frederick City on the 4th of May, 1827. His father, Christian Steiner, born Jan. 14, 1797, and his mother, Rebecca Weltzheimer, born April 20, 1802 were both natives of Frederick. Dr. Steiner is a great-great-grandson of Jacob Steiner, who emigrated from Germany to Frederick County, and a great-grandson of John Steiner, who was born about 1735, in Frederick County, about three miles from the present residence of Dr. Steiner; commanded a company of militia against the Indians in 1775, and was a member of the Committee of Observation for Frederick County during the Revolutionary War.
Dr. Steiner was prepared for college at Frederick Academy, and entered the sophomore class of Marshall College, Mercersburg, Pa., in 1843, receiving in 1846 the degree of A.B., and in 1849 that of A.M. He studied medicine with Dr. William Tyler, of Frederick, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1849 with a degree of M.D., commencing the practice of his profession in his native city in 1850.
In 1852, he removed to Baltimore, where he associated with Dr. J.R.W. Dunbar for several years in the conduct of an institution for medical instruction. In 1853, he was appointed Professor of Chemistry and Natural History at Columbia College, Washington, and Professor of Chemistry and Pharmacy at the National Medical College of the same city; in 1854, Lecturer on Chemistry and Physics at the College of St. James, Maryland; in 1855, Lecturer on Applied Chemistry at the Maryland Institute; and in 1856, Professor of Chemistry at the Maryland College of Pharmacy. In 1852 he was elected a member of the American Medical Association; in 1853, Fellow of Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland, and in the same year member, and in 1874, Fellow, of the American Association for Advancement of Science; in 1855 he was elected correspondent of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia; in 1869, corresponding member of the Maryland Academy of Sciences; in 1872, member , and in 1876, Vice-President , of the American Public Health Association; and in the latter year member of the International Medical Congress (Philadelphia); in 1876, Fellow, in 1876 and 1877, Vice-President, and in 1878, President, of the American Academy of Medicine. In 1861, Dr. Steiner returned to Frederick, where he has since resided.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, he took an active interest in the Union cause, assisted in raising troops, and when the Sanitary Commission was organized, in 1861, he was appointed inspector, and in 1863 chief inspector, and assigned to the Army of the Potomac. In this service, he labored indefatigably until the close of the war, and distinguished himself so greatly by his zeal and skill that in 1868, in recognition of his services, he was elected by the New York Commandery companion (third class) of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. After the close of the war, he took great interest in adapting the system of public education to the changed condition of affairs, and as president of the school board of Frederick County from 1865-1868 reorganized all the schools of the county. Dr. Steiner’s contributions to literature and science have been constant since 1851, and have given him a high place both in and out of his profession. Dr. Steiner has been a frequent contributor to reviews, medical and literary journals, and was for several years assistant editor of the American Medical Monthly, published in New York.
The honorary degree of A.M. was conferred upon Dr. Steiner by the College of St. James in 1854, and by Yale College in 1869. He is corresponding member of the Maryland Historical Society and the New Haven Colony Historical Society, trustee of the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute at Hampton, Va., and honorary member of the Harrisburg Pathological Society. Before the war, Dr. Steiner was a member of the Whig party, but became a Republican when that organization passed away. Since 1871, he has represented Frederick County in the State Senate, having been elected three successive terms over strong Democrat opponents. In 1876, he was a member of the Cincinnati Republican Convention which nominated Mr. Hayes for the Presidency.
Dr. Steiner’s scientific and professional attainments have won for him a national reputation, and given him a high place among the most distinguished names known to medical science in this country. Although he has been frequently honored in the political confidence of the people of Frederick County, he is not a politician in the ordinary acceptation of that term, and stands high above the petty arts and devious methods which too often characterize the politics of the day. In the Senate, Dr. Steiner is the recognized leader of the Republican Party; but while loyal to the political principals of that organization, he never forgets the superior fealty due his constituents and the State at large, and his services in the General Assembly have gained him an enviable place in the estimation of the people of all sections of Maryland, and of every political complexion. An elegant scholar, an able physician, a man of high scientific attainments, of the purest personal character, a refined and genial gentleman, Dr. Steiner is a representative whom western Maryland at large is happy to count among her sons.
Dr. Steiner was married on the 3rd of October, 1866, to Sarah Spencer, daughter of Hon. R. D. Smyth, a distinguished lawyer and genealogist of Guilford, Conn, and his five children, two sons and three daughters.
As I said at the onset, what a unique individual, and this biography only takes us up to 1882, and does not include the last decade of Dr. Steiner’s life story. I want to backtrack back to the American Civil War, when the Frederick native was actively employed as an inspector by the United States Sanitary Commission (USSC) in September 1862, and for a period would head its operations in the Army of the Potomac as chief inspector. The Sanitary Commission was in charge of ensuring the cleanliness of hospitals, coordinating medicine transports and related duties during the Civil War.
Immediately before the Maryland Campaign, he was at the battlefield of 2nd Bull Run in Manassas, Virginia following the combat there and Gen. Lee’s victory which eventually spurred him to cross the Potomac and take his Army of Northern Virginia into Maryland and Union territory. Frederick would be the first major northern town that Gen. Lee would visit during the war.
Dr. Steiner returned to Frederick from Washington, DC on September 5th, immediately ahead of the Confederate Army, and reported on the character and conduct of that army and the response of the residents here as the army passed by Mount Olivet’s front gate on South Market Street and came into town via Market Street from the south. Steiner kept a diary and wrote of the experience:
“The citizens were in the greatest trepidation. Invasion by the Southern Army was considered equivalent to destruction. Impressment into the ranks as common soldiers; or immurement in a Southern prison—these were not attractive prospects for quiet, Union-loving citizens.”
Shortly afterward, Dr. Steiner published his observations as “Report containing a Diary kept during the Rebel Occupation of Frederick, Md., etc.” (New York, 1862).
(Note: For an additional passage from this work, click on the button below for a quote read by Steiner’s great-grandson Roland Steiner of Howard County.)
In July 1863, Dr. Steiner would oversee the Field Relief Corps, which would grow out of the USSC’s inspection, field relief and battlefield relief practices dating from the beginning of the war. U.S. Sanitary Commission workers known as relief agents, under the direction of the inspectors, followed the troops while they were on campaign. They were expected to familiarize themselves with the wants and needs of the soldiers and medical officers, so that the USSC could provide the right supplementary goods and services.
As the Battle of Monocacy raged just outside Frederick in July 1864, Dr. Steiner was with the Union Army of the Potomac on its way to besiege the Confederate capital at Richmond, Virginia. The inspector for the Sanitary Commission learned of the battle and made his way back to see about the safety of his family. He owned the famed Schifferstadt farmstead northwest of town at this time.
Steiner’s diary would contain additional information about the state of affairs here in Frederick: "This battle of the Monocacy was one of the sharpest little fights of the war. It is possible that it saved the city of Washington," Steiner wrote July 19th, 1864.
He began his writings on this part of the war by mentioning the difficulty in securing transportation out of Baltimore to his native Frederick which is to be understood. Steiner wrote of crossing the heavily damaged bridge at Monocacy Junction by train, but noted that the Rebels had pillaged little in the city because they received a $200,000 ransom. The author related seeing the Thomas House, the restored home now part of the Monocacy National Battlefield, with abundant evidence of a terrible fight and how some Confederate soldiers had been buried in the field adjacent, the whole located in the crossroads location of Araby off the old right of way of the Frederick-Georgetown Pike.
Steiner went on to say:
"There is a terrible state of depression pervading this community. Three of the prominent stores are about closing and men are disposed to sell their farms and leave the land of their nativity." Later he adds two other entries: "Really this war has produced so much that is heart rending in the way of separation of families that one's heart bleeds over it,” and “God help us and free us from our troubles right soon."
Lewis Henry Steiner published a brief history of the Commission in 1866. The year prior, he became president of the Frederick County School Board where he expressed a major interest in developing school facilities for African-American children. A decade later, his efforts were chiefly responsible for the Maryland General Assembly adopting the 1876 Great Seal of Maryland, which remains the State's Seal to this day. He was later assistant editor of The American Medical Monthly.
Quite a resume of jobs and experiences and that brings us up to the last I will share. In 1884, Dr. Steiner was appointed the first librarian of the Enoch Pratt Free Library.
An incredible holding in the Pratt Library archives is a vintage photograph of Dr. Steiner sitting at a table within the library with a group of gentleman including the library’s founder, Enoch Pratt.
The Steiner family lived in Baltimore on Eutaw Place, only a few blocks away from the library on Cathedral Street across from the Baltimore Basilica. Dr. Steiner remained active in his church as an elder and played his part in civic activities as his health allowed in his waning years. He would remain in this post until his death on February 18th, 1892. He was 64. His body would be brought back home to Frederick where he was buried in Mount Olivet’s Area G/Lot 85 on February 23rd. I found that the grave-lot was originally purchased in 1877 as Dr. Steiner’s three-year old son, Ralph Dunning Steiner, had been laid to rest here.
Dr. Steiner’s successor would be a familiar figure in his life, son Bernard Christian Steiner.
Born in Guilford, Connecticut on August 13th, 1867, Dr. Bernard C. Steiner’s career can be described as that of an educator, librarian and jurist. Bernard prepared for college at the Academy of Frederick before attending Yale, where he graduated with an Bachelor of Arts degree in 1888, and Masters Degree in 1890. He was a Fellow in history at Johns Hopkins, 1890–91 and received a PhD there in 1891.
From 1891 to 1892, he was an instructor in history at Williams College, a private liberal arts school located in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
In 1892, Bernard took over his father’s former post at the Enoch Pratt Free Library. He occupied this position for the rest of his life, and to it he devoted his primary attention, his motto being “The Library is the continuation school of the people,” which motto however did not always ring true with his patrons, and was the source of some friction. He vigorously spread the influence of the library, increasing the number of branch libraries from six to 25 during his years of service.
In addition to his work at the library, Bernard C. Steiner continued as an educator. In 1893, he was instructor of history at Johns Hopkins, and served as an associate there from 1894 to 1911. Steiner graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Law degree in 1894. He was dean and professor of constitutional law at the short-lived Baltimore University from 1897 to 1900, and was dean and professor of public law at Baltimore Law School from 1900 to 1904.
Bernard Steiner married Ethel Simes Mulligan of Yonkers, New York in 1912 and had two children: Richard and Gilbert. The family resided at 1631 Eutaw Place in Baltimore.
Fifteen years later, Mr. Steiner would be called upon once again to lead Fredericktonians in the reinterment of another legendary history figure—Barbara Fritchie. This occurred on May 30th, 1913
I’m sure there were other visits to Mount Olivet to visit his father’s gravesite. Bernard C. Steiner lived out his life in Baltimore before his death on January 12th, 1926.
Bernard C. Steiner would be buried next to his father in Area G. Other family members are here including his mother, Sarah (Spencer) Steiner (1841-1914), brother Dr. Walter Ralph Steiner (1870-1942) an accomplished physician and medical librarian, and sisters Bertha R. Steiner (1872-1944), Gertrude Rebecca Steiner (1869-1949) and Amy Louise Steiner (1877-1966). His son Richard Lewis Steiner (1913-1989) is also here and served as a city planner for Baltimore for many years. Bernard’s other son, Gilbert Simes Steiner (1915-1922) had originally been buried in Baltimore’s Greenmount Cemetery, but was reinterred in Mount Olivet at the time of Richard’s burial.
Bernard's wife, Ethel (Mulligan) Steiner, is not here however. The last I could see was that she was living in the New Market area at the Riggs Asylum in both the 1930 and 1940 census. I surmise that she was buried in a family lot in her native New York.
And when I took recent pictures of this sacred gravesite of Enoch Pratts first two head librarians, I did not get shushed, but I made sure I was quiet and respectful as they would have wanted.
Of all the accomplishments both men celebrated, perhaps their most important achievement or legacy on the local level came through a posthumous collaboration utilizing both men's talent in the field of research and record/information organization in book form. The Steiner family genealogy is a tricky mistress, and this humble book not only has helped me, but many generations, historians and genealogists since 1896.
Author's Note: Special thanks to Mr. Roland Steiner, Enoch Pratt Free Library and the Library of Congress for various vintage photographs of both Lewis Henry Steiner and Bernard Christian Steiner.
When one thinks of the month of November, three dates usually jump out at you as constants—Election Day, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. Using that philosophy, I strived to find an individual or better yet family who I could “connect” to all three entities. I didn’t have to look far as I found this in a few generations of the Schley family, one of Frederick’s very first. I will use as my central pivot point the man buried beneath the beautiful monument photographed above—Col. Edward Schley.
Col. Edward Schley is buried in Mount Olivet’s Area F/Lot 41. It is in the midst of a large family plot that contains the remains of 30 immediate family members and descendants of Col. Schley and wife Eve Margaret Schley. Nothing screams Thanksgiving like a large family gathering, right?!
A map of the Schley grave plots in Area F found on the back of an interment card. Col. Edward Schley's individual grave space (#6) is in the center and denoted with his initials E.S. His wife is below him in space #5 and labeled E.M.S. This map corresponds to the two lot cards below showing the majority of decedents here in the Col. Edward Schley family plot
Col. Edward Schley, son of John Thomas Schley (1767-1835) and Anna Mary “Polly” Feree Shriver (1773-1855), was born in Frederick City on June 29th, 1804 and died in 1857. His father was a man all too familiar with Election Day as he served as judge of the Orphans Court from 1802 to 1813, was elected to the House of Delegates in 1809 and 1810, and held the position of Clerk of the Circuit Court from 1815 to 1835. In case you are curious, John T. Schley (Col. Schley’s dad) is buried a short distance away from his son in Area MM/Lot 43. Here also lies the colonel's mother as well, both originally buried in the Old Reformed Graveyard on Bentz and Second streets before being removed here to Mount Olivet in 1916.
Col. Edward and his father were so named with a moniker that holds a special place in the Frederick history books. This was our subject’s great-grandfather, the famed John Thomas Schley, one of the earliest settlers in Frederick Town. The original John Thomas Schley (1712-1790) was the first schoolmaster of the German Reformed Church here in town, and as a matter of fact, is credited with building the very first house in town. He emigrated in 1737 from Morzheim, in the region of Rheinland-Pfalz some 328 miles southwest of Berlin. Like many early immigrants from the Palatinate of the Rhine, he first arrived in Philadelphia, and in 1745 removed to Frederick Town at the head of a colony of about one hundred families of Calvinists and Huguenots—natives of France, Switzerland and Germany.
John Thomas Schley is credited with settling these immigrants here in the Monocacy Valley, and helped settle this town amidst a “howling wilderness.” He is noted as having been a talented musician and songwriter whose handwritten work can be found in the collection of Heritage Frederick. John Thomas Schley was also the father of Eva Catherine Schley, the first white European child born in this locality. He is said to have been a man of considerable means, and a leader among his people in the Province.
Like his ancestor, Col. Edward Schley was active in the community, and is on record as raising money for a public school. He was admitted to the Frederick County Bar in 1833 and operated the Carroll Creek Flouring Mills in his early professional career. His legacy points to him being one of the leading citizens of the community in his day. Politically, he was an old-line Whig, and in religion, he was affiliated with the Episcopal Church.
Schley was appointed the position of Captain of the Frederick Hussars on February 16th, 1850, and commissioned Lt. Colonel of the First Regiment in January 1851. This group was the equivalent of a local cavalry unit under the larger network of the Maryland state militia. The name, hussar, comes from those who earlier served as a member of a class of light cavalry, originating in Central Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries. The title and distinctive dress of these horsemen were subsequently widely adopted by light cavalry regiments in European armies in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.
From several newspaper accounts I found in my research, the Frederick Hussar detachment under Col. Schley participated in ceremonial endeavors such as parades, funerals and special events both here in town, and abroad in places such as Hagerstown, Baltimore, Washington, DC and others. A number of armored or ceremonial mounted units in modern armies retain the designation of hussars. In Frederick, it appears that this group dissipated over the decade (1850s) into the formation of military units doubling as the towns leading fire departments (Junior Defenders, Independent Grays/Riflemen, and the United Guards (aka “Swampers").
Col. Edward Schley married Eve Margaret Brengle (b. 1809) on December 4th, 1827. The colonel’s bride was the daughter of an outstanding veteran of the War of 1812—Captain John Brengle, a co-subject of an earlier “Story in Stone” from August, 2019 and entitled: “A Patriot in the Pulpit.” http://www.mountolivethistory.com/stories-in-stone-blog/a-patriot-in-the-pulpit
When it came to family building, Edward and Eve Margaret Schley had a lot to be thankful for as they were the parents of 13 children:. These included: Annie Elizabeth (Birely) (1828-1880), Mary Margaret (Morgan) (1830-1909), Benjamin Henry (1832-1882), Ellen E. (Gambrill) (1834-1908), Franklin (1837-1886), Alice Schley (Cassin) (1839-1911), Laura Louisa (Chapline) (1842-1922), Edward Jr. (1844-1863), Rose C. (Baer) (1846-1913), Fannie (Hewes) (1848-1919), Thomas Steiner (1851-1909) and Gilmer (1855-1939). The youngest of which, Gilmer Schley, would serve as Frederick’s mayor in the early 1920s.
The Schley family would reside in an iconic mansion still standing on the east side of town on East Patrick Street, just east of Carroll Creek. Col. Schley purchased this property in 1852 for $7,724. This would later be more commonly known as the Wayside Inn.
The Schleys operated a farm and a lime works operation on the eastern bank of Carroll Creek on the north part of their property. Col. Schley would die on another day typified by a gathering of family in one place. He passed on Easter Sunday night, April 14th, 1857 at the age of 52.
Following Schley’s death, Eve Margaret and several children remained at the house on E. Patrick Street. An advertisement in the local papers in 1858 show that she intended on lightening her load by ceasing to operate her home as a farm operation. She duly sold many farming implements and livestock at auction. Her two oldest sons, Benjamin H. and Franklin “Frank” Schley, had taken over the operation of the agricultural lime works.
Christina Martinkosky of Frederick City’s Planning Department included some fantastic details regarding the Edward Schley family in her insightful Preservation Matters series with an article about Wayside. This appeared in the Frederick News-Post of April 8th, 2018, and Christina brought to light a great slice of local Civil War history:
“Historic records show that the Schley family-owned slaves both before and after Col. Edward Schley’s death. However, when the Civil War erupted in the early 1860s, the two oldest sons served in the Union Army. During the summer of 1862, after the Union Army suffered crushing defeats at Richmond and at the Second Battle of Manassas, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee sought to bring the war to Northern soil.
On Sept. 5, 1862, Southern forces entered Frederick but moved westward the following day. As the Confederates withdrew, Union troops led by Gen. McClellan quickly maneuvered from Washington, D.C., into Frederick. On Sep. 12, the Union Army camped around the Schley House. However, according to Mrs. Schley’s daughter, Gen. Jesse L. Reno, a well-respected and beloved leader, and famed Gen. Ambrose Burnside were invited by Mrs. Schley to sleep in family home. The Union forces stayed only one night before moving westward to follow the Confederate Army.
On Sept. 14, Reno was killed at Fox’s Gap by a Confederate sharpshooter. According to newspaper accounts, a flag given to Reno by Barbara Fritchie covered his casket at his burial in Boston.
In 1864, two years after Reno and Burnside stayed at the house, Margaret Schley sold the property to William Falconer for $12,000. In 1906, Elmer and Amy Dixon purchased the old Schley House along with 50 acres of land. For several years, the couple farmed the property, which they called Lawnsdale. In 1917, however, the property was converted into an inn. Re-branded as the Wayside Inn, the site quickly became one of the city’s most popular restaurants. A large addition was soon added to accommodate a dance floor and nightclub.” It is used as apartments today.
Mrs. Schley continued the job of raising her children into adulthood after Col. Schley’s death, but had the financial means to do so as her former husband left her in good financial standing. As said earlier, Benjamin H. and Franklin “Frank” Schley were running the agricultural lime works. This would be one more means of taking care of their mother and greater family.
The Schley Brothers Lime Works was located on a parcel behind the main manor house, at a location on the northside of today's Highland Street and to the immediate west of Husky Park with its baseball field. The City of Frederick owns this parcel today and it is used as both a dump and storage-yard facility.
This entity was originally begun by the boys' mother's family the Brengles. Entrance to the plant was via a dirt lane off East Church Street . This eventually became Highland Street, near what was at one time called Sister's Hill. There was a quarry from which the limestone was chipped by hand, which was a long and tedious process. The operation included several pot kilns where lime was burned and used as ground burnt lime, which farmers spread over their fields to enrich their soil.
Benjamin H. and Frank Schley served in the American Civil War and escaped without injury or incident. They came back to the lime plant and would continue to operate the business through the 1880s. The brothers apparently retained the industrial parcel, with a right-of-way to the turnpike, even after their mother, Margaret Schley sold the manor house property to William Falconer in 1864.
Margaret was likely still in mourning as she left Wayside because she had lost one of her children during the Civil War. This was Edward Schley, Jr. who died at the age of 19 of an undisclosed debility on January 25, 1863. The family would take up residence in town.
Frank Schley purchased a nearby three-acre lot to Wayside in 1862, two years before his mother sold the
family manor house. This was apparently purchased with the intention of building a new home for his
family and perhaps his mother as well, the house (now 800 E. Patrick St.) must have been
constructed by 1864 when the manor house was sold.
In 1867, the Frederick County Agricultural Society purchased 30 acres of land east of the Schley’s Wayside property. The parcel in question was on the north side of East Patrick Street and formerly belonged to local attorney Gen. Edward Shriver. This would become the new home of the Frederick Fairgrounds, a move from the Frederick (Hessian) Barracks site on S. Market Street.
By 1870/1873, Frank Schley had begun construction of a series of brick rowhouses, probably tenanted by his own lime works employees on lots fronting onto the turnpike. The 1887 Sanborn Insurance map shows the subdivision noted as "Schleysville," reinforcing its association with the Schley family and business. I learned more about this locale thanks to the Maryland Historical Trust’s Maryland Inventory of historic properties (No. F-3-221).
“Today this constitutes a grouping of mid-19th century and early 20th century houses fronting on E. Patrick and Franklin Streets and centered on the Franklin Schley House on the corner. The subdivision of small, worker houses, some attached row houses and some single row-type houses, stands out along this part of E. Patrick St. where most of the houses are 20th century, large single family houses on large lots.
In addition to the Franklin Schley House on the corner of E. Patrick and Franklin Streets, the survey district includes 4 brick free-standing rowhouses, a series of 4 attached brick rowhouses, a series of 3 attached brick rowhouses, and a frame free-standing house, all fronting on the south side of E. Patrick St.; and on the east side of Franklin St. are 2 brick free-standing rowhouses and 3 frame double rowhouses (6 units) set back from the street. The grouping of buildings is located on approximately 3 acres, historically one lot but since subdivided into individual parcels. There are 22 contributing buildings. Rear yards were not observed and so outbuildings that may exist are not included in the resource count.
The Schleysville Survey District is a significant example of mid-19th century subdivision development for worker housing on the edge of Frederick City, Maryland (National Register Criterion A). Developed by Franklin Schley, owner of a nearby agricultural lime works, and adjoining his own elegant dwelling house, the brick rowhouses of Schleysville provided relatively substantial and convenient housing for Schley's employees.
An early 20th century addition of three double rowhouses to the lots on Franklin St., probably associated with the ownership of the housing group by the M.J. Grove Lime Co., reveals the continued use of the dwellings as employee housing. The Schleysville worker houses and the Franklin Schley House are good examples of domestic design and construction in Frederick City during the mid 19th and early 20th centuries."
Mrs. Schley could be found living at 70 E. Patrick Street in the 1880 census. She would live another decade before her death on July 13th, 1890.
Margaret should be commended for the fine job she did in raising her children. I’m sure all 12, excluding Edward (who passed in 1863), had interesting adulthoods. I will briefly review the lives of her remaining four sons.
Benjamin Henry Schley
Benjamin and his brother Frank have already been mentioned in connection to the limestone business. Born October 20, 1832, Benjamin Henry Schley served proudly in the United Fire Company and militia unit and continued with involvement during the American Civil War. He helped form Frederick’s first volunteer company to fight on the side of the Union (1st MD Volunteer Infantry), and was said to have participated bravely in all the engagements of the 1st Maryland Regiment under the Army of the Potomac, eventually reaching the rank of major. B. H. Schley was captured in Front Royal, VA in late May of 1862, but would be exchanged at Aiken's Landing, VA in September of that same year. He is said to have also served as an aide on the staff of Gen. Lew Wallace at the Battle of Monocacy.
After the war, Major Schley assisted with the lime business, but also headed up a coal business in Frederick. He married Martha Sophia Gaither(1834-1916) on January 9th, 1881. They would only have a year-and-a-half of wedded bliss.
He was fraternally active in the local Grand Army of the Republic Post and also the Lynch Lodge of the Masons. On the civic level, he helped found the Frederick Library Association and served as secretary.Benjamin Henry Schley would die at the age of 49 from consumption. This occurred on June 6th, 1882.
Earlier, I discussed Franklin “Frank” Schley’s lasting legacy with the existing hamlet of “Schleysville” on E. Patrick Street. His first name also lives on through “Franklin Street” which runs between E. Patrick and E. South streets. Born July 31st, 1837, Frank would gain his early education at the Frederick Academy where he would excel at mathematics. Classmates included Alexander “Sandy” Pendleton of Civil War fame, and cousin Winfield Scott Schley of Spanish-American War fame.
Frank would ironically only live to the age of 49 like his older brother B. Henry. He co-ran the Schley Brothers Lime operation with brothers Gilmer and Thomas after the death of Major B. H. Schley.
Frank was particularly interested in real estate and our old Frederick newspapers are filled with advertisements pertaining to his listings, especially his 20-unit “Schleysville” community on E. Patrick Street.
Frank was an avid sportsman especially in respect to hunting and fishing. He particularly excelled at partridge, pheasant and quail hunting. In doing so, he likely provided the main course for many a Thanksgiving dinner for the greater Schley family. Frank’s expertise led him to pen a book on the subject of game hunting entitled “Frank Schley’s American Partridge and Pheasant Shooting.” This was published in 1877 and resulted in Frank receiving the title of "Professor," and would be referred to as such
Frank Schley also took interest in horses and owned several racing thoroughbreds. Having the Frederick Agricultural Society’s fairgrounds and track directly across the street from his home was surely a plus for this hobby. Thanksgiving races were even en vogue at one time.
Mr. Schley carried on a courtship with Miss M. Helen Eader of Petersville for over two decades until finally tying the knot on October 14th, 1886. Sadly, six weeks later, Frank Schley would die from a sudden hemorrhage of the lungs at his home on Wednesday, November 26th, 1886. Ironically this was the day before Thanksgiving, so an incredibly somber time must have beset Mrs. Eve Margaret Schley and his several siblings, nephews and nieces. Not to mention the fact that the Schley family would now be without their resident fowl expert and provider to celebrate the special November holiday with from that day moving forward.
“The Professor” was buried the day after Thanksgiving, but not in the family’s burial plot in Area F. Instead, Frank Schley would be placed in Area Q/Lot 74. His bride of one-and-a-half months would join him here in 1902. Like that of his father, Col. Edward Schley, a fine, large monument adorns this gravesite.
Thomas Schley came into the world on February 1st, 1851. He too, attended the Frederick Academy as did his brothers. While a young man, he became a bookkeeper for the late P. H. Pieffer, who was a large coal dealer of Frederick. He later engaged in the manufacture of all kinds of lime wih his own kilns situated a mile east of town on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad line on E. South Street. This would be the vicinity of the Frederick Brick Works original location.
He eventually sold this business to M. J. Grove and Company and took an early retirement for about five years. In 1880, Thomas Schley partnered with a gentleman named Victor M. Marken and another named William T. Delaplaine. The trio opened a printing firm on N. Market Street called Schley, Marken & Delaplaine. They performed various job printings and made the locally, renowned “Peerless Paper Meat Sack.”
In 1883, the trio founded the Frederick Daily and Weekly News, and after some time the firm changed its name to W. T. Delaplaine & Company and eventually merged into the Great Southern Printing and Manufacturing Company with William T. Delaplaine serving as president, Thomas Schley as vice-president, and George Birely as treasurer. The latter man was Schley’s brother-in-law, married to his older sister, Annie.
Thanks to Mr. Schley who is said to have “contributed his ability to the success achieved by this concern.” This paved the way for me, as I gained my first full-time position with this company, under the Frederick Cablevision/GS Communications division from 1989-2001 at which time it was sold to Adelphia Communications out of Coudersport, PA.
Thomas Schley married Mary Martin Claggett in 1885 and the couple would have one daughter named Anne Perry. Mr. Schley would pass on March 11th, 1909. He would be buried in his father’s plot on Area F.
The last of the Schley brothers I will talk about is Gilmer Schley. The youngest child of Col. Edward and Eve Margaret Schley, he was born August 14th, 1855 and would take sole charge of the Schley Brothers Lime Works upon the death of his older brother (Frank) and departure of Thomas to other pursuits. He would be credited with introducing a steam drill to the operation which greatly eased the extraction process.
T.J.C. Williams History of Frederick County from 1910 gives some interesting biographical detail on Gilmer:
“Gilmer Schley, son of Col. Edward and Eve Margaret (Brengle) Schley, was only one year old when his father died. He remained on the home farm until he reached his tenth year, when the family removed to Frederick, in which place he received his education in the Frederick Academy. At the age of sixteen, he began life for himself as a clerk in the grocery store of Johnson and Brosius, of Frederick, where he remained for two years. He was then in the employ of Julian Newahl as a clerk for about two years. His next position was with Birely Brothers, with whom he remained for four years. He then became a bookkeeper for Theodore Brookery, at the time conducting a tannery. In this position, Mr. Schley continued for four years.
In 1881, he became associated with his brother Franklin in the lime business, and on the death of his brother in 1886, he assumed full control, purchasing his brother’s interest, in which business he has since continued. Mr. Schley is one of Frederick’s well-known and leading businessmen, and he is held in high esteem.
In politics, Mr. Schley is a Republican supporter. Fraternally, he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. He is also a charter member and director of the Independent Fire Company of Frederick City.
Mr. Schley was married, in 1884, to Emma Louisa Wilson, daughter of N. J. and Sophia (Albaugh) Wilson, a descendant of an old and well-known family of the county. The marriage had six children: Eve Margaret Schley (Remsburg), Nathaniel Wilson Schley (1886-1976, a veteran of WWI), Ellen Louisa Schley (1890-1892), Louise Schley (Rhodes) (1893-1962), and H. Florence Belcher, and an unnamed infant."
Gilmer would sell the family lime business in 1912 to Shank & Etzler, and it eventually became the property of R. F. Kline. The quarry stood for many years as just a deep water hole and a dangerous swimming hole for the more daring young men of town. It was eventually filled in by the City.
In 1919, Gilmer Schley ran for elected office in the mayoral race of Frederick City. He would be victorious in this, his only “Election Day” foray. After serving his term, he would officially retire and spent much time in outdoor recreations, primarily inspired by his older brother Frank.
Mayor-elect Gilmer Schley would take the new Board of Alderman for a retreat outing in the woods as captured in this photograph in the archives of Heritage Frederick. Schley is at the head of the table closest to the photographer, while Frederick city park namesake Lorenzo Mullinix is seated to his immediate right.
Gilmer Schley died on July 10th, 1939. He would be buried a few feet from his parents and seven of his siblings: Edward, Mary M. Morgan, Ellen E. Gambrill, Laura Chapline, Rose Baer, Fannie Hewes, and Thomas Schley on Area F in Lot 45.
As was my aim at the beginning with this story, I certainly found a November family with multiple ties to Election Day through former politicians, Veterans Day through military service, and Thanksgiving through the spirit of family and togetherness, not to mention, a fondness for Phasianidae—heavy ground-living birds.
Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers, and thanks for your continued support of our mission of preserving the historic records, structures and gravestones of Mount Olivet Cemetery. These stories will keep the memories of our 40,000 inhabitants alive for future generations to learn from.
In closing, here is an article from the same newspaper edition of November 24th, 1886 that featured the news of Frank Schley's untimely death. It certainly gives a little flavor of how the holiday was celebrated here in Frederick during the heyday of the Col. Edward and Eve Margaret Schley family.
With the passing of Veterans Day, 2021, I had the opportunity to reflect on a personal and professional milestone this past week—one that had connections to Mount Olivet Cemetery, Veterans Day, the US flag and the pen (so to speak). It was five years ago, Veteran’s Day of 2016, when I published my very first edition of this “Stories in Stone” blog. My debut offering was entitled “Frederick Under the Flag” and featured the obvious overarching theme of patriotism evident here at Mount Olivet Cemetery.
I shared, with readers, the well-known fact that this sacred, burial ground is the final resting place of over 4,000 military veterans. These men and women have connections to every conflict our country has taken part in. We have amazing luminaries buried here in the form of well-known former Fredericktonians like Francis Scott Key and Barbara Fritchie.
As these two individuals are well-storied in the local history annals, they also became known on the national and international level through their respective patriotic deeds. Interestingly, in both cases of FSK and Dame Fritchie, we can thank “the almighty pen” for their immortality as both gained fame thanks to a song or poem written about the US flag under attack by the enemy, but ultimately our red, white and blue standard stood steadfast and strong through perilous fights.
In that inaugural “story in Stone,” I mentioned other patriotic characters of Frederick’s past such as Gov. Thomas Johnson, Winfield Scott Schley and Dr. Lewis H. Steiner. I wrapped the article up by heralding the cemetery’s role not only in burying the dead, but serving as an important touchstone on military holidays since its original opening in 1854.
Since coming to work here in early 2016, I’ve been humbled by witnessing programming held here in conjunction with Memorial Day and Veterans Day. on Memorial Day, the American Legion has been performing a noontime ceremony at the FSK Memorial for over a century. For the last five years, our local Daughters of the American Revolution Chapters have organized another Memorial Day program that shines the spotlight on those vets residing in our spacious mausoleum complex toward the rear of the cemetery.
On Veterans Day, local musicians perform Echo Taps, which begins by our front gate and concludes several blocks away at Frederick’s Memorial Park at W. Second and North Bentz streets. Amazingly, over this five-year span, I’ve seen Veterans Day programming take hold here in an all new way. We now have an annual history walking tour at noon, and this year we had a special-themed lecture in our FSK Chapel about the “Operation Whitecoat” program that occurred at nearby Fort Detrick from 1954-1973.
Most memorable, however, has been the opportunity for partner groups and the general public to assist in decorating gravesites with flags. This had been done on Memorial Day for decades, but now is finally a staple for Veterans Day. On Saturday, November 6th, over 4,500 flaglets were planted in the ground at the site of veteran markers and stones across our 100-acre campus.
These flags not only denote final resting places of “hometown heroes,” but also serve as important placeholders leading up to our Wreaths Across America Ceremony on the third Saturday in December. This year, the magic day is December 18th as we will mark as many of our 4,500 veteran graves (with as many sponsored wreaths) as we can. At present, we have nearly 2,100 wreaths, and are eagerly anticipating more over the next couple weeks (before the November 30th cutoff date) to up that total.
Volunteer flag placers included groups representing the Homewood Auxiliary, the Friends of Mount Olivet membership group, Francis Scott Key Post #11 of the American Legion, the Frederick team of NaturaLawn of America, American Heritage Girls Troop MD3126, Tuscarora High Schools Rho Kappa and baseball team, and others, coupled with walk-up residents from Frederick and even some from neighboring counties. These folks traversed the grounds carrying lot maps, checklists, pens and screwdrivers in the effort to locate and identify our veteran gravesites to plant flags. You see, it’s not as easy as one might think because we are unlike Arlington and other US military cemeteries where it is a given that all these gravesites contains a veteran. In contrast, we have an eclectic assortment of gravestones belonging to our larger population of 40,000 interred here, and have plenty of lots where a veteran lies, but is not labeled or marked with a military insignia or plaque of any kind.
I have not only seen our interest in our cemetery and activity grow due to these military-based remembrances, but I’ve been humbled to see the popularity of our weekly blog grow as well. My top satisfaction in writing “Stories in Stone” centers on my ability and desire to connect decedents in our cemetery with places, other people, and events/happenstances tied to the past—most notably local, state and national history. I guess you could say I’m nothing more than a “conduit” in many ways. Best of all, is having the opportunity to connect you, the reader of the present, with the Frederick of the past. I do this through the context of gravestones that memorialize former residents whose lives “lived” helped gave us the Frederick we know and cherish today.
Earlier this week, I surveyed the cemetery grounds in preparation for giving our annual Veterans Day history walking tour. I introduce participants to a random collection of outstanding military men and women from different eras. I happened to be in Area A, among the oldest in Mount Olivet located closest to our front gate entrance off South Market Street. This locale has received great attention over the past year from our Friends of Mount Olivet group in terms of stone cleaning. Many gravestones formerly charcoal black in color due to age and pollution, are now gleaming white and reminiscent of the days these were first erected—some dating back to the 1850s.
As is always the case, certain stones seem to jump out at me. Now my focus was somewhat skewed as I was especially taking note of graves decorated with flags as we had just performed that exercise last weekend. A small military stone of a Union Civil War veteran captured my imagination as I marveled of how clean and vibrant it was. I had not recalled ever seeing it before, and if I had, I surely wouldn’t have been able to decipher the writing on its face due to the aging these stones endure at the mercy of the elements.
I snapped a few photos on my I-phone and decided I would look into the life of C. H. Tabler and figure out the cause of his early demise, not knowing whether he was a Frederick lad or a native of Ohio as his stone identified his particular regiment.
Well the story began to take shape rather quickly as I checked our cemetery records on this individual buried in Lot 93 of Area A. It was clearly stated that C. Henry was a “removal” from Virginia who came to Mount Olivet on March 4th, 1871. The record said that “Henry” had died at Stafford Court House (Virginia) while serving in Company F of the 55th Ohio Infantry Regiment. In looking at his lot card, I realized that he had been buried in the family plot of William Benjamin Tabler, the decedent’s father. Unbeknownst to me when I first spied Henry’s grave the previous day, his parents and a few siblings were buried behind and within a few mere feet of his military-issue stone. I failed to take notice because they faced west instead of east as was the case with Henry’s stone.
I searched for an obituary for Henry and found one in the January 22nd edition of the Maryland Union newspaper of Frederick. In this I learned that he died on Christmas Day of “Congestive chills.” I looked up this condition and found that this old disease name equated to Malaria with diarrhea. The article stated that he was buried at a graveyard in Jefferson at this time. This means that he was moved to Mount Olivet in 1871 from his former resting place in Jefferson.
As I was searching for his obit, I had first come upon an article in the Maryland Union from the previous August (1862). This small article referenced The Wyandot Pioneer, a newspaper in Upper Sandusky, Wyandot County, Ohio, and the fact that our subject Mr. Tabler was an employee of this entity. The article talked about the Tabler family, and Henry’s recent enlistment in the Union Army following the patriotic spirit shown by his brothers Frank and Charles.
This led me to find a couple reference records to his service including Ohio enlistment records and an order form for his subsequent military tombstone after his death. Best of all was the entrée into The Wyandot Pioneer in hopes that this publication to shed more information on the life and death of C. Henry Tabler. My wish was answered as I found a fuller obituary, and also a direct report to the newspaper’s publisher regarding Henry’s final days.
Interestingly, Henry’s boss at the paper was a man named Louis Augustus Brunner (1823-1886), and yes he has definitive connections to the Brunner family of Frederick that gave us the famed Schifferstadt house at the end of West 2nd Street where it intersects with Rosemont Avenue.
Mr. Brunner was the son of John (1792-1844) and Anna Maria Stickel Brunner (1794-1829), and a brother of Valentine Stickel Brunner, a former president of Mount Olivet. John was the son of Jacob Valentine Brunner (1760-1822) and served as an 1812 War veteran. The John Brunner family’s cemetery lot is located just a football field away from the final resting spot of L. A. Brunner’s former employee, G. Henry Tabler.
I would find an additional article in the Frederick Examiner newspaper of March 4th, 1863 pertaining to Henry’s death, as it was attributed to the Wyandot Pioneer. This was a solemn poem to his memory written by an S. M. Boughton:
Named for his paternal grandfather, Christian Henry Tabler was born in 1841 in the vicinity of Jefferson, Maryland. He first appears by name in the 1850 US Census living in Petersville. I took interest in the fact that Henry’s father, William Benjamin Tabler (b. 1810 in Martinsburg, West Virginia), served in the Brengle Home Guards unit in 1861, and would later be elected as Frederick County sheriff in 1865. He spent most of his working career as an auctioneer and also an innkeeper.
In 1850, he was keeping a hotel in Petersville in the southwestern part of the county. I was fascinated to learn that Petersville was once a tourist destination, and this hotel, which no longer stands, was once located on the Jefferson Pike just west of Catholic Church Road. Of personal interest, this is only a stone’s throw from my son’s girlfriend’s house, but that’s neither here nor there as far as our subject is concerned.
The Tablers would relocate to Frederick during the 1850s and can be found living on the south side of the first block of East South Street by 1859. In Williams’ Frederick Directory of 1859-1860, Henry is listed as having the occupation of printer, a fact not mentioned in the 1860 US Census. It is most likely that Henry went to Upper Sandusky, Ohio in mid-1861 and began his work with Mr. L. A. Brunner and The Wyandot Pioneer as a printing foreman
I found the following article that gave a more complete picture of his desire to enlist in August of 1862, just a month before his former hometown of Frederick would be occupied for a week by Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia prior to the nearby battles of South Mountain and Antietam.
Henry’s other brothers, Frank and Charles, were also serving in the Union Army as mentioned previously. I found an article in the Maryland Union that showed that Frank (Franklin Clay Tabler b. 1845) had suffered an unfortunate accident while in camp at nearby Sandy Hook on the Potomac and not far from the fore-mentioned hamlet of Petersville. Mrs. Louisa Tabler, the boy’s mother, was the former Louisa Crum, a native of Knoxville which is even closer to Sandy Hook.
You can’t fault Frank as he had enlisted in the US Army in September, 1861 at the age of 16. Henry’s other brother Charles William Tabler (b. 1842) had the best military career of the three as he avoided a fatal illness and gunshot wounds of any kind. Based on later news accounts, he was commended for his bravery under fire during the war on numerous occasions.
The 1870 US Census shows Henry’s parents and three other siblings living at the Dill House hotel on West Church Street. William B. Tabler was back in his familiar role as innkeeper at this famous hostelry once located on the southeast corner of West Church and Court streets. Today this is a parking lot that serves both M&T Bank and the Paul Mitchell Temple School.
1871 was the year that Mr. Tabler bought his burial plot in Mount Olivet. I surmised that Henry’s brother, Otis (b. 1836) had been afflicted with some sort of disability through life as the 1870 census lists him as an invalid. He may have been showing signs of imminent demise which could have prompted his father to purchase burial lots at this time. As I said earlier, Henry’s body was the first placed here in Area A’s Lot 93 in March of 1871. Otis would pass 14 months later in July of 1872. I found his brief obituary but could not find a gravestone for him.
William Benjamin Tabler would die on May 3rd, 1874. He joined sons Henry and Otis here in grave lot today that is well shaded by a large oak tree that stands on the northwest corner of Area A. Wife Louisa died in 1878. Henry’s sisters Ida Louisa (Tabler) Fout (1847-1894) and Mary Katherine “Mollie” Tabler (1849-1931) would also be laid to rest here.
To wrap up this Tabler family’s story here at Mount Olivet, originally inspired by me spotting the lonely, yet sparkling, grave of Union veteran C. Henry Tabler, I needed to find out what happened to the other two sibling-veterans. Frank married a young woman named Marion Farr in St. Louis in 1869 and worked as a clerk in some capacity. He died somewhere before 1900 and his body was not returned to Frederick for reburial. I assume he is buried in St. Louis but have been unable to find his final resting place.
That brings us to Charles, who is buried in Mount Olivet up the hill from the rest of his family with his wife and in-laws in Area E/Lot 3. Charles worked as a clerk here in Frederick but re-located to Washington DC in the 1890s. He eventually gained a pension clerk job at the US Capitol but eventually became a real estate broker. He lived at 200 E. Capitol Street, which was known as the Manning House, but today serves as the Florida House, an embassy of sort for visiting Floridians.
This is where he was living and working when he died in 1911 as a result of committing suicide. I found several front page articles in both the Frederick and Washington, DC newspapers of the time. These depicted in great detail how Mr. Tabler was depressed regarding a recent illness he was slow to recover from. They also discussed his assumed plans for burial in Arlington. Apparently, this final wish would not come to fruition.
So, in researching and writing this piece, I got to meet a new family, consisting of 3 of the 4,500 veterans in our midst in Mount Olivet. Fittingly I made more connections whether they be to patriotism, places, people and events. Best of all, I happened to be curious as to the meaning of the last name of "Tabler." You should have seen the look on my face when I learned that this family originally hailed from southwestern England in the county of Cornwall. The moniker derives from an ancient occupational name from Old French, tablier, which is better defined as “joiner.” Reminds me a lot of the related words “conduit” and “connector” if you asked me.
What a special family name, and fitting subject for my 180th edition as I stop to give pause and reflect on my the five-year anniversary of writing “Stories in Stone.” Thanks for the continued support from all our readers and here’s to the next five years.
Please help us mark the graves of veterans in Frederick's historic Mount Olivet by sponsoring a wreath!
A few months back, an interesting visitor came to our Mount Olivet booth set-up at the Great Frederick Fair, (located under the West Grandstand). This kind lady approached me and told me she had been wanting to reach out to me in effort to share a tale of one of her ancestors buried in Mount Olivet. As historian of this amazing, historic garden cemetery, you can imagine that I’m always excited in learning more about our 40,000 plus inhabitants.
This kind woman, Kristi Edens, even had gone to the trouble of putting some research together for me and printed a handful of newspaper articles, including an obituary for her GGG Grandfather—F. B. G. Miller. She also included a picture of Mr. Miller’s gravestone and a rough draft of a family tree pertaining to the subject, a long-time employee of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.
So here I am a few months later to give you a brief glimpse into the life of Frances Bannister Gibson Miller, born in Winchester, Virginia on October 15th, 1838. He was the son of William Henry Miller (1808-?), a native of Pennsylvania, and wife Francis Ann Foster (1809-1866). Early life information is scarce, as I could not find the family in 1850 census, but they were indeed residing in Winchester in the 1840 US Census.
I found my earliest account on this gentleman, better known as Frank, from an 1859 news article in a Cumberland, Maryland newspaper called the Maryland Civilian. It discusses young Frank’s amazing work ethic in running a telegraph line between Cumberland and Lycoming, Pennsylvania. Eventually he would make sure the line would reach Washington, Frederick and Carroll counties. This was the start of a lifelong profession.
Frank’s father, William Henry Miller, had died somewhere before 1860, as he does not appear in the 1860 US Census with the family. We do not have either of his parents interred at Mount Olivet, so it’s been hard to piece info together aside from the semi-complete family tree Kristi shared with me. Frank’s mother, Frances Ann (Foster) Miller appears as head of household in the 1860 Census, in which he can be found living with his older sister Elizabeth and three younger brothers in Cumberland.
I next found Frank Miller’s name in Allegany County’s Civil War draft registration roll books, which list his profession as a telegraph operator. He is listed as continuing to live in Cumberland.
Here may be a good time to explain the once “state of the art” communication marvel of the telegraph and the profession of telegraphy that Frank had found himself engaged. A telegraph is a device for transmitting and receiving messages over long distances, i.e., for telegraphy. The word telegraph alone now generally refers to an electrical telegraph. Wireless telegraphy is transmission of messages over radio with telegraphic codes. A telegraph message sent by an electrical telegraph operator or telegrapher using Morse code (or a printing telegraph operator using plain text) was known as a telegram.
The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad has a history intertwined with the first long-distance telegraph system set up to run overland in the United States.
The Baltimore & Ohio was the original telegraph line and was the right of way along which inventor Samuel F. B. Morse (1791-1872) constructed his experiment. Thereafter, many of the original expansion lines were built along the B&O.
These lines were built through agreement between the original telegraph companies and the B&O. The telegraph companies were permitted to build the lines along the right of way, in exchange for providing service to the railroad. The lines might be the property of the railroads and operated by the telegraph company; or the lines might be owned by the telegraph companies, but at the end of the contract, if they did not remove the lines, they were surrendered to the railroad. The railroad controlled the most important thing for the networks—control of the right of ways. And the B&O controlled access to these right of ways in the mid-Atlantic, the most valuable market for the initial communications network.
In 1861, when the Civil War broke out, the North/Union boasted a large network of telegraph lines, where the South had few lines. The North placed telegraph service under the War Department and used it to its strategic advantage. US President Lincoln and B&O president James B. Garrett (namesake of the Maryland county) developed a unique relationship in which the railroad and telegraph would assist the Union Army in communication and transport of troops and supply. In return, Mr. Garrett would receive protection from the army for his important investment consisting of trains, track, bridges and telegraph wires which had become regular targets for vandalism at the hands of Confederate raiders.
The Civil War found Frank living to the east of Cumberland on the other side of Sideling Hill. He was in Hancock, Maryland, a town that grew up around the National Pike and later Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was a stone's throw away and across the Potomac River on the Virginia side. This settlement was called Alpine Station after the rail station positioned here, worksite for our subject Frank B. G. Miller.
Hancock would see some of the first pitched action of the Civil War. The Battle of Hancock was fought during the Confederate Romney Expedition of the American Civil War on January 5th and 6th, 1862, near Hancock. Confederate commander Major General Stonewall Jackson began moving against Union Army forces in the Shenandoah Valley area on January 1st. After light fighting near Bath, Virginia (aka Berkeley Springs), Jackson's men reached the vicinity of Hancock late on January 4th and briefly fired on the town with artillery. Union Brigadier General Frederick W. Lander was in charge of Union forces here.
The following passage comes from Peter Cozzens 2008 book entitled Shenandoah 1862: Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign:
“By the morning of January 5, the temperature had fallen to 0 °F (−18 °C), where it would remain steady for the next three days. The Stonewall Brigade was brought up that morning, and Jackson aligned his men on Orrick's Hill across the flooded and ice-choked Potomac River from Hancock. At 09:30, Colonel Turner Ashby was sent across the river with a request for Lander to surrender; Jackson warned that he would shell and then capture the town if Lander refused. Upon meeting Lander, Ashby was instructed to tell Jackson to "bombard and be damned" and was given a written rejection of the offer. While Ashby returned to the Confederate lines, Lander ordered that civilians leave the town and assigned the 84th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment to serve as a fire brigade in case the coming bombardment started any fires. The 110th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment defended warehouses, and two pieces of artillery were positioned on a hill behind the town. The Confederate cannons opened fire at about 14:00, and a sporadic artillery duel which inflicted no casualties continued until dusk. A Confederate detachment under Colonel Albert Rust destroyed a bridge over the Big Cacapon River belonging to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, while another detachment failed in an attempt to destroy a dam upriver from Hancock.
While Jackson opened January 6 with a bombardment of Hancock by the Rockbridge Artillery, Lander still desired to take offensive action against Jackson. He asked Major General Nathaniel P. Banks to either cross the Potomac in Jackson's rear or to send him reinforcements, with which Lander would attack the Confederates directly. Banks had ordered Brigadier General Alpheus Williams's brigade to march towards Hancock on January 5, but sent the request for offensive action through Major General George B. McClellan, who viewed it as too risky and rejected it. Later that day, Jackson attempted to cross the Potomac at Sir Johns Run, but was repulsed. Having damaged the telegraph lines in the area, Jackson abandoned the attempt to take Hancock on January 7 and withdrew. The exchanges of artillery fire had caused little damage. The National Park Service estimates that the two sides combined suffered about 25 casualties during the fighting.
Here is where two interesting connections to Frederick, Maryland come into play. First, the above mentioned Gen. Frederick Lander would eventually have his name grace a post office in southern Frederick County on Potomac River and on the west side of Catoctin Mountain. Of course this is Lander, a small hamlet that boasts a canal lockhouse at lock 29 near mile marker 50.8 Today, you can find a popular boat ramp here too.
As for Gen. Lander (b. 1821), he was a transcontinental United States explorer, a prolific poet and had recently married a top stage actress from Great Britain. Likely due to the fatigue of the winter campaign of January and February, 1862, Gen. Lander contracted pneumonia and his gifted life would be cut short with his death on March 2nd, 1862.
The second connection of note involved Frank B. G. Miller who was serving as the telegraph operator for Hancock at that time. The railroad station was located across the Potomac at Alpine Station. Here is an article from 1899 that explains the heroics he would employ during the Battle of Hancock in early January, 1862.
Pretty cool stuff and the imagery of someone swimming across the Potomac in the dead of winter is one thing, but doing so amidst ice chunks in the water, and bullets whizzing by in the air above is awe-inspiring. And if that wasn’t enough, he didn’t even have time to dry off and change clothes, before climbing a telegraph pole to jerry-rig the communication line to Washington, DC.
This seemed to be the most exciting action during the war for Frank Miller. Following the end of hostilities, he came to Frederick and served as the assistant telegraph operator at Monocacy Junction, another place that saw plenty of activity during the American Civil War. The pinnacle was the July 9th Battle which is known in history books as "the Battle that Saved Washington, DC."
This conflict was mostly the result of telegraph and transportation lines of the B & O. Word was communicated via the telegraph to Baltimore that an unusual Confederate Army contingent had suddenly appeared in Martinsburg under Jubal Early in early July, 1864. This Rebel group headed east across to Potomac to Sharpsburg, and then Boonsboro crossing South Mountain to Middletown and eventually reached Frederick in July where they promptly requested a ransom of $200,000. Gen. Lew Wallace commanded Union troops here, hastily brought in from Baltimore to square off with Gen. Early's men. Interestingly, Miller had installed some of these same telegraph lines under Wallace earlier in the war in the western part of the state.
A battle would rage at the Monocacy Junction, a few miles south of Frederick, on July 9th. The fighting could clearly be seen and heard from vantage points throughout town, including our fair cemetery, only in its 10th year of use at the time.
One of the central areas of action of the battlefield area was the Monocacy Junction itself and associated buildings. Many fascinating things happened here during and after the battle, including action around the train station at the actual junction itself, Lew Wallace's command headquarters and the B& O Railroad Bridge across the river.
A surprise visit from Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Gen. Philip Sheridan occurred here on August 6th, 1864 for a secret planning meeting. One of the longest inhabitants though would become Frank Miller. Frank started as assistant telegraph operator, but would take the top job after his boss, William T. Mullinix (1849-1910), stepped down in 1880. It appears from other articles that he performed this top job as B & O Rail Agent with a high level of professionalism and creativity.
On the personal side of life, Frank lived at the Junction but records show that he had purchased a 4-acre property between the railroad and Bush Creek on the east side of the Monocacy, but sold it in 1870 to Ann Johnson, wife of Worthington Johnson. Frank soon married Louisa Marie Schell (b. 1838 in Somerset, PA) around 1871. The couple would go on to have four children: Maude Mary Miller (1872-1935), Nan Boardman Miller (1875-1960), Frances B. Miller (b. 1877), and James H. G. Miller (b. 1880).
Frank's son, James, was named for neighbor and friend James Henry Gambrill who lived across the river from the junction in the large mansion once known as Boscobel House and Edgewood. The Gambrills owned the nearby Araby Mill and the Frederick City Mill (destined to become the Delaplaine Art Center). Now part of the Monocacy National Battlefield, the old Gambrill mansion houses employees of the National Park Service Historic Preservation Training Center.
Sadly, the Miller family would undergo a great degree of sadness in the late 1880s as Louisa would become sick and required care from her sister in their hometown of Somerset, Pennsylvania. Here, Louisa succumbed to her illness on September 29th, 1888. She was laid to rest in Somerset's Husband Cemetery. Meanwhile, Mr. Miller took on the task of raising four children into adulthood.
Mr. Miller threw himself into his job even more, one he already had great passion. He even foiled a robbery one night while on the job.
In addition to his duties as a rail-road agent for the B & O, Miller would also be appointed the postmaster of the Araby Post Office. He would eventually be replaced in his Railroad agent position at Monocacy Junction by his son-in-law, Edward M. Halley, who had married his daughter Maude.
Frank served as a ticket agent with the railroad in his final years. He would die on September 12th, 1900. He is buried in a small lot (#36) on Area F. This plot is owned by Columbia Lodge Number 58 of the Frederick Masonic Lodge. Frank was a member for nearly 30 years.
Mr. Miller is one of four individuals actually buried within the Masons’ lot which was originally purchased in 1858. Staying true to form, he continued his streak of avoiding land property ownership.
Frank G. B. Miller's obituary found in the Frederick paper included tales mentioned earlier of his early career in the telegraphy business, and his Civil War heroics and bravery under fire. His obit was carried in both the Baltimore and Washington newspapers where I'm sure many knew him from his connection to the B & O.
Mr. Halley would be appointed as Araby's Postmaster just a few weeks after the passing of Frank Miller. Mr. Halley died just seven years after his father-in-law in 1907, thus ending the family's reign at "the Junction." Both Maude and Edward are buried in Mount Olivet’s Area H/Lot 29.
Whether you missed it or not, Saturday, October 16th is National Bosses Day. Unfortunately, since this year it falls on a weekend, there are a lot of work leaders of this select group that won’t get to celebrate with employees of the typical 9-5 realm. But hail to those who can.
I’ve been lucky to have been blessed with many talented and special “bosses” over my working career. Special emphasis go to my three major job holdings, in which I have had an invaluable team of mentors supervising my career. At my Cablevision job, I learned from George B. Delaplaine, Jr., Marlene Young, Robert Cole, Bob Krebs, and Rich Angerman, Next, there was the Tourism Council of Frederick County where I worked under the recently-retired John J. Fieseler. Finally, kudos to my current boss of 5+ years in J. Ronald Pearcey, who has served as Mount Olivet’s superintendent since February, 1982 and allows me to write this blog each week to boot!
As I often do in these “Stories in Stone,” I find myself fascinated with words. Maybe this comes from my admiration of comedian George Carlin, who pointed out the absurdity of some based on a number of elements seldom explored. Certainly not to be found on his famed list of “The Seven Dirty Words,” my curiosity has become piqued by the word “boss.”
I went to the Merriam-Webster dictionary to find the “official definition” and the result is as follows:
“A person who exercises control or authority, specifically: one who directs or supervises workers.”
Additional duties of a boss, or supervisor, include giving instructions and/or orders to subordinates and being held responsible for the work and actions of other employees.
In more recent times, one can find the word “boss” also used as a slang-implied adjective meaning Incredibly awesome; miraculous; or great. I have to admit that I can apply this adjective to all those individuals named above as each have truly played an important part to my working career, along with a myriad of equally gifted co-workers and colleagues along the way.
So with that preamble, I was inspired to write this week’s “Story in Stone” about a stand-out boss buried within the confines of our fair cemetery. However, I soon became frustrated because there are far too many exceptional, former supervisors, managers and captains of industry here that I find it hard to just single out one. I wouldn’t have had to agonize over this dilemma if Andrew D. Arnold was buried here, but he is instead resting in peace in Burkittsville Union Cemetery.
You likely don’t recognize the name of this humble farmer who once lived east of Brunswick, south of the MD 464 (Point of Rocks Road) near the area once known as Olive. His colorful moniker lives on through a county road name that once paralleled his property—Boss Arnold Road.
Being inspired by re-watching of HBO's The Sopranos, I was hard-pressed to find a mafia leader or connection here in Mount Olivet as well—if only we were in New Jersey or New York, perhaps? I then quickly thought of New Jersey’s #1 Boss, Bruce Springsteen, and New York’s historical figure of “Boss” Tweed of New York, neither affiliated with mafia crime family syndicates, but more so with rock n’ roll and politics, respectively, although Springsteen seems to be wading in the shallow end of the “political pool” of late.
On the other hand, William Magear Tweed (April 3, 1823 – April 12, 1878) was fully submerged in the deep-end of the forementioned “pool” as he was widely known as "Boss" Tweed. This former politician was most notable for being the "boss" of Tammany Hall, the Democratic Party’s political machine that played a major role in the politics of 19th-century New York City and State. At the height of his influence, “Boss” Tweed was the third-largest landowner in New York City, a director of the Erie Railroad, a director of the Tenth National Bank, a director of the New-York Printing Company, the proprietor of the Metropolitan Hotel, a significant stockholder in iron mines and gas companies, a board member of the Harlem Gas Light Company, a board member of the Third Avenue Railway Company, a board member of the Brooklyn Bridge Company, and the president of the Guardian Savings Bank.
As you can see, this man had his hand in everything. This begs to ask the question, did Frederick ever have a like character in its history—a person as powerful as “Boss” Tweed? As a well-traveled student of our town and county’s history, I can definitively answer this question with a resounding “Yes!” And to better matters, this gentleman’s gravesite is within Mount Olivet Cemetery, under a large monument fitting to his reputation—Joseph Dill Baker.
Author T.J.C. Williams called Mr. Baker “one of Maryland’s best-known financiers and one of the foremost citizens of Frederick County.” Upon his death in 1936, the Frederick News said in it’s editorial on October 7th:
“A great citizen of the State is gone, and all Maryland mourns her loss; but Frederick claims him as peculiarly as her own. Here, in Frederick County, he was born; here he lived his entire life from this place nothing could tempt him to go. Years ago, he was offered a high financial position that could not but have been attractive to a financier, but, when he learned that it would necessitate his removing his residence from Frederick, he, for that reason only, refused. He said with the Shunammite woman, “I wish to dwell among my own people.” And, casting in his lot with this people, and loving them with a great love, they came to love him in return and, with common consent to call him their first citizen."
Joseph Dill Baker
Joseph D. Baker was certainly a tremendous "pillar" in our town and county history, and not only had his “proverbial hand in many pots,” but was at times controlling the entire “Frederick kitchen,” itself. Unlike New York's "Boss" Tweed, Frederick's "Boss" Baker seemingly had his hometown's best interest at heart through his dealings. A banker by profession, he was a majority owner of several banks in the area before concentrating on the Citizens National Bank of Frederick. Along with other members of the Baker family, he was also a partner in the Standard Lime and Stone Company headquartered in Baltimore. One such improvement he was responsible for came with his urging for the smooth paving of Frederick's existing cobblestone streets. However, he did own a company that specialized in that line of work.
Former Frederick alderwoman and candidate for Frederick mayor, Fran Baker (1928-2018), a descendant of Mr. Baker through marriage to his grandson Joe Baker (Joseph D. Baker), wrote of her husband’s grandfather in Great State publishing’s Pillars of Frederick (2011):
”A gentleman who was devoted to Frederick, Baker was also interested in local and state politics. Encouraged to run for governor in 1907, he refused to soften his principled support of Prohibition. This personal belief in the deleterious effects of alcohol made it impossible for him to command a political majority, and so his candidacy was doomed. Baker was as sensitive to the feelings and well-being of fellow citizens as he was bold in his approach to race-relations issues. He made sure, for instance, that the local hospital would treat everyone who needed care and admittance regardless of color. This was a radical concept, but one that benefited the entire community.”
Joseph D. Baker’s philanthropic activity helped give Frederick a YMCA, Calvary Methodist Church, the Record Street Home for the Aged, the Baker Wing of Frederick City Hospital and a fine, municipal park. And there was much more, trust me.
Mrs. Baker went on to say:
“As a man known for sound judgment, financial acumen, and personal integrity, Baker was often called upon for advice. He gave his time, money, and sincere support to any cause that would benefit his community. It is fitting, therefore, that he was once known as “the first Citizen of Frederick.”
Joseph D. Baker will also be forever remembered by a unique, pillar-shaped structure that stands in the form of a carillon that bears his name, a noted landmark which is part of a 58-acre green-space (within the confines of historic Downtown Frederick) that also bears his surname. This is the Joseph D. Baker Memorial Carillon in Baker Park.
Officially dedicated nearly 80 years ago on November 30th, 1941, this “storied monument in stone” stands 70 feet high and is 16 feet square at the base. It is constructed of granite from Baltimore County, and the foundation extends 12 feet underground to rest upon solid rock.
Fourteen years earlier, on June 23rd, 1927, the city held a dedication ceremony for the new park that would eventually take Mr. Baker’s name. The Frederick Post estimated 5,000 people in attendance at the opening of the Frederick Municipal Park. The event included a grand parade through the streets of town, with the route culminating at the site of the new municipal park and an official dedication program which included remarks from local leaders including Mayor Lloyd Culler, the city’s Board of Alderman, local business and civic leaders and our subject, Mr. Baker, himself.
Nearly two months later, on August 12th, the mayor and city aldermen formally named the park in honor of Joseph Dill Baker, the man known by the admirable moniker--“Frederick’s First Citizen."
The chimes of the old carillon still ring out today with the performance of recitals on the first and third Sundays of the month from 12:30 -1 pm. There are other sponsored events such as the annual Candlelight Tour of Historic Houses of Worship on December 26th, when the tower is open to visitors. The carillon was rededicated back in 1991, and again celebrated in 2016 on the occasion of its 75th anniversary.
Interestingly, the original installation of the carillon included a chime featuring 14 bells. In April 1941, workers began building a 70-feet high structure in Baker Park. The Carillon was completed in late 1941 and formally dedicated in November. The Carillon played beautiful chimes, thanks to bells made in Holland. In June 1967, ceremonies were held to celebrate the addition of nine new bells to the tower. The additional bells made Baker Tower the first true carillon in the State of Maryland. By definition, a carillon contains at least two octaves (23 bells), while a chime contains fewer bells. Today, the tower boasts 49 bells.
It seems so fitting that we remember Mr. Baker through bells and bell ringing. On the day of his funeral, October 8th, 1938, the bells of town’s famed “clustered spires” would toll for Frederick’s favorite son. Also on this somber afternoon, a five-minute pause from business had been requested by Mayor Lloyd C. Culler at the exact hour of Baker’s church service which would take place in the All Saints Church located on West Patrick Street. This honor came at 3:30 pm on the Saturday afternoon in question. Like clockwork, city activity was successfully suspended for the called-upon duration before getting back to business at 3:35pm. Actually, it wasn’t a difficult feat because most townspeople connected to commerce were already in attendance of Mr. Baker’s touching send-off.
The following clipping describes the funeral which culminated in a procession to Mount Olivet where Joseph Dill Baker would be buried in his family plot a few yards west of his parents’ gravesite in Area P/lot 99-102.
For further reading, I suggest you seek biographies that exist in such resources such as T.J.C. Williams’ History of Frederick County (1910) and Matthew Page Andrews’ Tercentenary History of Maryland (1925).
Joseph D. Baker's family life story usually gets overshadowed by his professional life. He was twice married, first to Miss Emma N. Cunningham of Falling Waters, WV. Born on January 21st, 1854, she would marry Mr. Baker on November 13th, 1877. She lost twin sons Willie and Dan in infancy (September, 1878). Another child was born to the couple, Holmes Davenport Baker (1880-1950). Holmes would follow in his father's footsteps and enjoy a great career in the banking field.
Emma Baker died at age 28 on January 7th, 1883 at the age of 28. Mr. Baker would marry a second time, Miss Virginia Markell (b. June 8, 1863) of 1630 Bolton Street, Baltimore. Miss Markell was the daughter of a very prominent Baltimore merchant named Charles Markell. The couple had a small wedding at the bride's home with only immediate family members present. They came back to Frederick and took up residence on East Church Street. The couple had one daughter named Charlotte, born March 21st, 1891. She would marry Dr. John Theodore King, Jr., a Baltimore physician, in 1915 and resided in that place until her death in 1981.
Mrs. Virginia Baker was a great support to her husband and shared in his benevolent causes up through her death in May, 1941.
Here, I will let some of the newspaper clippings surrounding Mr. Baker’s passing tell his story. His sudden death made front page news on the very afternoon of its occurrence, Thursday, October 6th. This was major news for Frederick where Mr. Baker was "the biggest fish in our small pond." His reputation was widely known, so the reporting staff was readily able to provide context for the legendary man according to publication deadline on that day. Obituaries for him also appeared in the Baltimore and Washington newspapers, not to mention the New York Times.
Mr. Baker’s story began in nearby Buckeystown and ended at the Francis Scott Key Hotel, a boon to Frederick’s business community that would help secure our current-day standing as one of the state’s (and country’s) major tourist draws. From the moment he arrived in Frederick, Mr. Baker took a keen interest in the town’s growth and well-being. The dash between his 1854 birthdate and 1938 death state represents an amazing body of life’s work and accomplishments.
Just week’s before his death, Mr. Baker’s last major, public appearance came in the form of giving a glowing testimonial of praise to Miss Mary Nies who was stepping down from a successful stint as superintendent of the Frederick City Hospital. The farewell luncheon took place at the hotel he called home.
Mr. Baker readily contributed to the betterment of schools and educational facilities. His family played a major role in the genesis and operation of the Buckingham Industrial School for Boys, located south of Buckeystown. Buckingham's Choice Retirement Community takes its name from the former trade school designed to aid boys from poor families from 1898-1944. After the school closed, the property was donated to the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. It soon became a youth camp and then a conference center named after the first bishop ordained in Maryland, the Rev. Thomas Claggett.
Again, Joseph D. Baker's life story is one that should fit a book, not a blog. I was interested to see the newspaper filled with a collection of testimonials given him by colleagues and contemporaries at the time of his passing. This appeared in the Frederick News on the day following his death (October 7th, 1938).
In 1995, I produced a 10-hour documentary film about the history of Frederick in celebration of our 250th anniversary. I spent a nice chunk of time introducing viewers to Joseph Dill Baker and his lasting impact on Frederick. I have included below a transcript of my film’s narrative, along with soundbites from some of my program’s on-camera commentators.
Mr. Baker was a prominent businessman and philanthropist. Born in Buckeystown, he moved to Frederick as a young man and entered the tanning business and later served as president of the Citizens National Bank. From the moment he arrived in Frederick, Mr. Baker took a keen interest in the town’s growth and well-being.
Paul P. Gordon (local historian/author/former mayor of Frederick)
“Joseph D. Baker was a financier and banker. Joseph D. Baker had great vision for this town. Because of him, the modernization and industrialization of the town occurred. He became a man of wealth and yet even with his great wealth he was not selfish because he saw the needs in the community and was willing to take his own money to begin things that he was asking government to do. For instance, he underwrote the study of the modernization of Market Street. It was a narrow street that did not have curbs and gutters, was not well paved and what have you. He underwrote that and because of that the city fathers then underwrote the continuation of the project. He underwrote a study of the water and sewer system of the town and, because of that, the city began to improve the water and sewer system. Now why did he do all this? It’s because he foresaw that if you had good water and if you had a good sewer and if you had good city streets and good well-lit streets, Frederick would begin to attract businesses and industry to the town. He foresaw this as a catalyst to keep Frederick growing.”
Baker helped get the YMCA built. He fought to have the streets paved smooth with asphalt, a project which began in 1926. He also donated land to the Calvary Methodist Church, which was built in 1929 on Bentz Street ad opened in 1930. The Home for the Aged on Record Street received a $50,000 donation from Mr. Baker and his wife. He gave $100,000 to the hospital to help build new additions. The Baker Wing was added to the Frederick City Hospital, which provided for the hospitalization of Black people.
Mr. Baker also provided a park, in the form of Mullinix Park, and better housing for the city’s Black population. But one of Baker’s greatest gifts to the residents would be another park. He began by influencing the city to purchase land for the endeavor that existed along the town creek.
The oldest portion of the park, near North Bentz Street had been used for industry. It was formerly the site of the Old Town Mill, built by Jacob Bentz in the late 1700s. The mill, with its mile-long mill race, was still intact during the first quarter of the 20th century, a time when the city started to expand outward from Market Street. Another business endeavor, the Mountain City Creamery was located immediately to the north of the Bentz Mill, but this building was demolished around 1910 to make way for the Frederick City Armory, which still stands today as the William Talley Recreation Center.
The city began acquiring land for the creation of a large municipal park along Carroll Creek spurred by the advent of the upscale College Park development on the city’s northwest side in the 1920s. It would be necessary to do something about the visual and olfactory situation of a few existing farms sitting in the confines of Carroll Creek’s flood zone. In 1926, the initiative still lacked two necessary properties, and it was Joseph Dill Baker and his wife who stepped in and purchased the necessary land and donated it to the city.
After the purchase of the parkland, the city hired Baltimore landscape architect R. Brooke Maxwell to prepare a design plan, and work quickly began to create parkland that extended from Bentz Street to West College Terrace. In 1927, this park was dedicated to Joseph D. Baker by the mayor and board of aldermen in recognition of his years of service to the city. Because of all he gave to the town, he was dubbed “Frederick’s First Citizen.”
Harry L. Decker (Town Historian)
“Mr. Baker was quite a community man. Baker Park is named after him and he donated money for building the park and other things like the bandshell in Braddock in the middle of the park. He did a lot of things and was a benefactor to Frederick City. He kept his hand in the pot and the affairs of Frederick City. He was instrumental in so much. He didn’t want it to get out of hand either. Mr. Baker was very prominent in the movement of Frederick City. He had his interest here financially, he had the banks and he also had the cement plant in Buckeystown. So, he had his hand in a lot of things in the area.”
Carroll H. Hendrickson, Jr. (historian/former merchant)
“He was important all over Frederick County because the Baker family had the brick works in Buckeystown. The family owned the Citizens National Bank. He was responsible for the construction of the Francis Scott Key Hotel. His mansion is now owned by the Lutheran Church, called the Hahn House. It’s across from our Frederick Historical Society house. That was the Baker house and he moved from there to live in the Francis Scott Key Hotel after that was first built in roughly 1922. He may have kept some things out of Frederick because of his financial power. At the same time, he gave to Frederick much more than a lot of people know. He gave to the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Methodist Church. He was responsible for saving the area known as Baker Park."
“He however with his great wealth did other things like build a wing on the hospital so that the black residents of the town would be accepted into the hospital. The story goes that there were many who were against black patients being attended to at what was then Frederick City Hospital. He forced the issue with his position in the community and underwrote the building, gave the money for the Baker wing of the hospital and that is where the black people of town were attended to. He gave the land for Mullinix Park so that the black people of town would also have a recreational facility. He bought the first parcels that became Baker Park.
Originally he bought it because he had funded the Home for the Aged on Record Street and he wanted them to have a vista to the mountains and across from the back of the Home for the Aged was a milk plant and was a mill and other types of old and not attractive facilities. So, he bought the buildings to create a vista and they were torn down and then, because he foresaw that the city needed a major park system, a recreational area, he bought additional parcels and that became Baker Park.”
Joseph D. Baker died October 6th, 1938 at the age of 84. Upon Baker’s death, a friend remarked: “the influence of his life will remain as a continued benediction upon the city of Frederick." Mr. Baker left behind a close friend, Frederick’s mayor, Lloyd Clayton Culler (1869-1960), who, like Baker, was born in Buckeystown. The duo was a force to be reckoned with as Lloyd Culler and Mr. Baker worked very closely to forge a new Frederick and both had a hand in just about every major public improvement completed in the city during a 35-year period.
Born on June 1st, 1869, Culler went into business for himself at a young age as a contractor and builder. Successful as a businessman, Culler decided to see how he would fare in the political realm. He first was elected alderman in 1913 and served as president of the group for the next three years. In June 1922, Mr. Culler was elected mayor, an office he held for 22 years, for the residents re-elected him seven times. During that time, he helped guide the city toward improving its recreational, water and sewer facilities along with upgrading streets and other buildings. He would carry on Mr. Baker’s ideals following “the First Citizen’s” death.
Culler is not buried here at Mount Olivet, but in St. Luke's Lutheran Church Cemetery near his home in Feagaville, southwest of Frederick. He is proudly memorialized in Baker Park with two, man-made water features that bookend the park. A memorial fountain exists at the park entrance off Bentz Street, with the forementioned carillon as a backdrop to the west. The plaque affixed to this fountain says it was "named in memory of Anna Rebecca, daughter of Mayor and Mrs. Lloyd C. Culler." She died in June, 1923 at the age of 16.
In 1938, Baker Park was extended to include an ice skating and boating lake. A small building that would serve as a shelter for users also was built and completed in 1939. The lake was named Culler Lake in January 1940 after this gentleman as a tribute to his years of service as town mayor.
Back here at Mount Olivet, it's nice to know that we have a strong connection to Mr. Baker and the park he created as we were the original scenic green space of town. Reverent recreation has always been a hallmark here as a member of the rural/garden cemetery movement of the 19th century. We still welcome walkers, runners and cyclists as does our city’s largest public park. Back in the day, we had picnickers too, but that pastime solely belongs to Baker Park today, along with things not commonly done at burying grounds such as swimming, tennis, fishing, soccer, softball/baseball games, summer concerts, 4th of July fireworks, and the Kris Kringle Parade.
It’s hard to imagine a Frederick without Baker Park, but as a historian, it’s even harder to imagine a Frederick, Maryland without Joseph Dill Baker. Thank you "Boss" Baker, you mentored and guided us well.
Would you like to learn more about the Friends of Mount Olivet membership group? Come to our Prospective Members "OPEN HOUSE" this Thursday, October 21st from 6-8pm. We will be meeting at the Key Chapel on the grounds, located about 100 yards behind the Francis Scott Key Monument. No hard sell, just info given through an informative PowerPoint program and short nighttime, candlelit walking tour (if weather permits).
A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of teaching a class in the form of a walking tour for Frederick Community College’s Institute for Learning in Retirement, or ILR, program. The class was titled Frederick’s Mount Olivet Cemetery in African American History. Most of the information presented was based on my earlier three-part series published (under the Stories in Stone moniker) back in February-March, 2017. I added a bit more to the tour in regard to other personages (who also appeared as subjects of my blog over the past year) including Harriet Heckman, Simon F. Blunt, and George W. Sands, Jr.
Anyway, I also talked about three prominent white gentleman, forever linked with the Black community of Frederick, in relation to their unique friendship and/or benevolence to members of Frederick’s minority community in times of heightened segregation between the races. I plan on featuring two of these gentlemen, Joseph D. Baker and Jacob Engelbrecht, in coming months as their stories are truly fascinating. However, for this week, I’d like to review the life and achievements of the third, a man by the name of Lorenzo E. Mullinix.
The name may ring a bell, as Mr. Mullinix was a leading, Frederick merchant who served in local politics and eventually used that position to help create a public park in the late 1920s for Frederick’s under-served African-American community.
Lorenzo Etchison Mullinix
As I have done on occasion, I will include the fine biography on our subject which can be found in TJC Williams’ History of Frederick County, published in 1910.
The son of the late Leonard C. and Elizabeth Simpson Etchison, Lorenzo Mullinix, was born in Frederick County, Md., about eight miles from Frederick City May 30, 1855.
Frederick, Maryland, will always occupy one of the foremost places in America history. From the time when the first house was erected, in 1746, to the present day, it has been distinguished not, only for the brilliancy and learning of its bar, but for its renowned statesmen, its brave soldiers, and its men of remarkable talents and inventive genius. These men, by their achievements, have not only won for themselves an enviable position on the role of the world’s real benefactors, but have made their hometown conspicuous among the towns of the country.
Few names have been more widely circulated than that of Mr. L. E. Mullinix, author and publisher of the “Reliable Wall Paper Chart.” This valuable little book was first published in 1899, and at once found an appreciative public. It was immediately endorsed by the largest jobbers and manufacturers of wallpaper in the United States and Canada, as one of the greatest time and labor-saving schemes ever offered to the public. Up to the present time, 1909, it has been steadily growing in favor and over three hundred and fifty thousand copies have been sold and shipped to every part of the United States and Canada. The need of just such a reference book had been felt by the trade for a long time, but it remained for old Frederick to supply this want.
The paternal ancestors of Mr. L. E. Mullinix, were Huguenots, emigrants from France, where the name was written Molyneaux or Mullineaus. These sturdy people suffered exile rather than forego the right of free thought and free speech. It is said that when these reliable citizens together with the Jews were driven from France, that country narrowly escaped bankruptcy, and that their flight into England helped to make that nation the counting house of the world. If we would take from America the Hugenots, the Quakers, the Puritans and other refugees, it could hardly be called the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.” Thomas Mullinix, grandfather of L. E. Mullinix, married Miss Brown whose family had settled, in Colonial days, in Howard, then a part of Anne Arundel County, Md. Her ancestors had served with distinction in the Revolutionary War.
Leonard C. Mullinix, father of L. E. Mullinix, was a successful farmer of Frederick County, Md. In 1856 he moved to Birmingham farm just south of Frederick, where he remained until 1882, cultivating and improving his property. This old farm has an interesting history. It was made from a part of the “Rocky Creek” tract granted to John Stoddard, May 22, 1728, part of “Locust Level,” granted to Daniel Dulaney, July 11, 1756, and part of “Tasker’s Chance,” granted to Benjamin Tasker, June 9, 1727. The old-residence, which is still standing, was evidently built prior to the Revolution. The fact that it faces directly south is conclusive evidence that it was erected before the laying out of Frederick City, which occurred in 1745.
Mount Olivet Cemetery was formerly a part of this old farm. In 1882, Leonard C. Mullinix removed to Frederick City, on November 15, 1849, he was married to Elizabeth Simpson Etchison. Of their eight children only four reached maturity: 1, Elisha E., for thirty years resident physician at Urbana, Md.; 2, Lorenzo E.; 3, Sybelle M., (Mrs. Marshall L. Etchison); 4, Frances A.
The maternal ancestors of Lorenzo E. Mullinix were among the early emigrants to America, although there are no records showing the exact date of their arrival. John Simpson, his great-grandfather, settled in Prince George’s County, Md., where he engaged in farming. He served his adopted country in the War of the Revolution, and Mr. Mullinix has in his possession the two commissions given to John Simpson. The first, given January 3, 1776, at Annapolis, Md., signed by Matthew Tilghman, appointing him ensign in a company from Prince George’s County, belonging to the Eleventh Battalion of the Province, and the second, given May 1, 1778, signed by Thomas Johnson, first governor of Maryland, by which he was made first lieutenant of the company.
John Simpson was married to Miss Perkins. They had two daughters: Ruth, married Ephraim Etchison; and Elizabeth, born October 8, 1786, married in 1801, to Elisha, brother of Ephraim Etchison. Elisha and Elizabeth (Simpson) Etchison had a number of children, among them, Elizabeth Simpson, born April 7, 1828, married to Leonard C. Mullinix.
The Etchisons or “Aitchesons” came from Scotland, and settled first in Pennsylvania; but, being very much disturbed by the Indians, they removed to Prince George’s County, Md. Mr. L. E. Mullinix holds the commission given to his grandfather, Elisha Etchison, appointing him ensign in the company of Captain Ephriam Etchison, in the third regiment of Maryland, given at Annapolis, May 17, 1811, signed by Edward Lloyd.
Lorenzo E. Mullinix spent his boyhood on his father’s farm. He attended the public schools of his native place and entered Frederick College. At eighteen he began his business career, serving an apprenticeship with the late Charles C. Smith and G. J. Doll, dealers in dry goods. In 1879, Mr. Mullinix began business for himself as a merchant, and continued to sell dry goods until 1897, when he opened a house for the exclusive sale of carpets, wall-paper and curtains, at his present location, No. 28, North Market street. Mr. Mullinix is strongly domestic in disposition and has never been an aspirant or a candidate for an office.
He is a member of the Masonic Order, Columbia Lodge, No. 58, A. F. and A. M.; also of the Modern Woodmen of America, and of the Royal Arcanum. Lorenzo E. Mullinix was married, in 1881, to Mary I., daughter of Daniel R. and Mary C. Hendrickson. Four of their five children are living: Helen Alberta; Mary Edna. married to Captain D. John Markey; Ruth Simpson; and Frances Elizabeth. Mr. Mullinix finds the greatest pleasure of his life in his home with his family. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and for many years, served as treasurer of the board of trustees.
Lorenzo Mullinix was 55 years old at the time the biography above was written. He still had a few decades left to add to his life’s story. This would include a continued dedication to his mercantile business and civic engagement.
He would become a director of Frederick’s Home Building and Loan Association, and, “closer to home” for my purpose, served on the Board of Managers of Mount Olivet Cemetery from 1922 until his death in 1930. He would also enter the realm of politics at the municipal level.
Speaking of homes, let's backtrack a bit. I wanted to learn exactly where Lorenzo lived and conducted business. It appears that his father (Leonard Cassell Mullinix) was in New Market in the 1850 census, but then in/near Frederick City after that, still listed as a farmer. This may have been as a tenant farmer on the Birmingham plantation referred to in the Williams’ biography.
Leonard bought additional property in 1878, consisting of four town lots, in Urbana, near Zion Church, which he would will to his son Elisha E. Mullinix, to become a prominent physician of that locale. In 1887, he bought 12 acres of the Birmingham estate to the immediate west of Mount Olivet Cemetery, selling half of it in 1888 and still owning six acres when he died in 1891. This was just west of Mount Olivet with a manor house once located a short distance south of the present-day locations of South Frederick Elementary and the Ausherman Planetarium, both off Madison Street with Carrollton Drive on the south.
Throughout his adult life, Lorenzo Mullinix was involved with three primary properties located in Frederick City. The first of these was part of lot 105 fronting on E. Third St, which he bought in 1884, selling parts of it off in 1899 and 1901, and the remainder in 1924. The current address for this property is 26 E. Third Street and tax records give a date for this house as 1910.
Lorenzo Mullinix also owned two lots on the west side of a long-gone thoroughfare known as Park Place from 1901-1904. These sit under the Frederick Hospital property today. He bought two lots in Braddock Heights in 1919 which served him and his family as a beautiful summer retreat away from bustling Frederick City. The Mullinix cottage was known as "Bon Air." Mullinix sold the holdings in 1928.
Mullinix invested in the city’s northwestern addition of the early 20th century called College Park. This followed the construction of the newly opened campus of Hood College. He owned three different lots at various times. Two of those lots, one bought in 1916 and the other bought in 1919, were sold to Robert Delaplaine of the Frederick News-Post in 1924. Mullinix made his home at the remaining lot located at the address of 301 College Place. This was purchased in 1923, and would be sold later by his heirs in 1946.
As far as his commercial dealings, Mr. Mullinix opened a dry goods business in the 1880s with ads first appearing in the local newspaper in 1887. His original location with entrances on both 15 N. Market Street and 11 Patrick Street would become later homes to McCrory's and the Frederick Arts Council.
In August of 1888, Mullinix announced the dissolution of his earlier firm (L. E. Mullinix & Company) as he now had entered into a partnership with Charles Edwin Kemp.
The pair ran this business until February, 1897. After another dissolution, Lorenzo Mullinix would open the Mullinix Carpet House at a location just across the street at 24 North Market Street.
The Political Ring
I learned through newspaper research that Lorenzo's father unsuccessfully ran for Frederick County commissioner in 1881. Did this inspire Lorenzo to serve in public office? Although the Williams' biography stated, "Mr. Mullinix is strongly domestic in disposition and has never been an aspirant or a candidate for an office," times would change. In 1919, Lorenzo Mullinix ran an election campaign for the local office of Frederick City Alderman. He was the single highest vote-getter in the election held on June 10th of that year. Interestingly, he was the lone Democrat on the Board of Alderman serving under mayor-elect Gilmer Schley, a cousin of local hero of the Spanish-American War, Admiral Winfield Schley.
New responsibilities associated with political office is likely the reason Mr. Mullinix would change the dynamic of his popular carpet house business. In August 1919, after 22 years on his own, Mullinix took on his longtime employee, Edward Bentz (1856-1936) as a partner. The tandem continued out of their business location at 28 N. Market Street.
The author believes the darker building (with four window bays) to the right center of photo to be the one-time location of the Mullinix & Bentz carpet store at 26/24 N. Market St. At one time, the second floor of the building served home to the fraternal organization that calls itself the Improved Order of Red Men (founded 1834) and initials of this group can be seen on the building's facade.
The timing of Mr. Bentz promotion was also of importance as Mullinix would have to care for a sick wife in 1920. His wife Mary would die at years end, a result of arterio sclerosis.
Mrs. Mullinix is buried in the cemetery’s Area Q, within yards of her parents. Lorenzo would eventually remarry in 1924, a woman named Annie E. Wiener.
Lorenzo E. Mullinix was successfully re-elected in subsequent elections in 1922 and 1925, as he continually served on the Board of Alderman until 1928. He held the position of President of the Board from 1922-1928. The “Roaring Twenties” would be a period of well-documented growth and town improvement in Frederick’s history, and Mullinix was a prime reason.
The Mullinix and Bentz business would grow as well and take on new products to sell to the Frederick citizenry. Among the leading innovations came vacuum cleaners, the perfect compliment to a carpet.
After five years of a successful partnership with Edward Bentz, Mr. Mullinix decided it would be time to retire from business so he could devote time to his new wife and family, and his job as a town alderman. Mr. Mullinix sold his share of the business to partner Edward Bentz in 1923, however, he kept ownership of the building at 26/24 North Market St.
Due to slipping health, the carpet and wall-paper expert could not participate in certain meetings and events in the winter and spring of 1928. One such event was a special party held in February, 1928 by prominent residents to celebrate the 34th wedding anniversary of Mayor Lloyd C. Culler, later namesake of Culler Lake. Mr. Joseph D. Baker, the leading business and civic leader of town had the opportunity to toast his good friend, Mr. Culler. Both Baker and Culler had given the citizenry of Frederick an incredible gift the previous May with the unveiling of a municipal Park that would take the great benefactor’s name—Baker Park.
To lead off his remarks, Mr. Baker lamented the fact that the glorious occasion was missing only one thing—Mr. Mullinix. Baker's remarks are as follows:
After months of agonizing over carrying out another campaign for re-election, Lorenzo E. Mullinix decided not to run in the 1928 race, although he unanimously received his party's nomination. . His decision was discussed at the Democratic Nominating Convention meeting on May 19th, 1928 by the fore-mentioned Mr. Culler, whose party successfully supported his re-nomination for the mayoral post, one he would hold from 1922-31, 1934-43, and 1946-50. Mr. Culler said of Mullinix:
On June 7th, the Mayor and Board of Alderman held their second to last meeting of the current administration. As had been the case for months, the Board president was not in attendance but convalescing at home. A special resolution thanking Mr. Mullinix would be made.
Mr. Mullinix would be proudly hailed one week later at the June 15th Mayor and Board meeting. However, in his last official public meeting, Lorenzo E. Mullinix’ legacy would be solidified in the annals of Frederick history. It is also the sole reason why his name is still recognized by so many residents today. The following article explains, as Mr. Mullinix had made a unique proposal for community improvement a year prior at the time of the opening of Baker Park. He was concerned that the Black population had no place to recreate in segregated Frederick where Blacks were not given access to the new city amenity available for white residents only.
Opened in June, 1929, Mullinix Park was designed by R. Brooke Maxwell, a rural architect from Baltimore. Mr. Maxwell’s arched entryway still stands from the park’s entrance off S. Bentz Street, just north of W. All Saints Street. Yes, a time of separate but equal but at the very least, a step in the right direction which would thankfully be overhauled, but not until three and a half decades later with Civil Rights legislation. The park along Carroll Creek holds a great deal of history for Frederick’s black community, and today thankfully our municipal parks are open to all without prejudice. A central feature here, that exists up through this day, came via Mr. Baker, who did much to make the park named for his respective friend a reality. This is Diggs Pool. Mr. Baker donated the land for the whole with the stipulation that a pool be built and named for his trusted chauffeur William Diggs.
Lorenzo E. Mullinix lived to see the park that bears his name, and the plaque at its entryway that heralds his service to the City of Frederick.
What happened to his successful rug business up on North Market? The following newspaper article from January 3rd, 1929 shines a little light on the future of the business and longtime partner Mr. Edward Bentz. The primary property is connected to part of lots 61 and 62 on the east side of N. Market Street which Mullinix had bought in 1913. This property was leased to SS Kresge & Company 5 & 10 store in 1929 for a duration of 30 years. Lorenzo's heirs sold it in 1971. It is now the location of Cacique Restaurant.
Lorenzo Etchison Mullinix would die of a cerebral hemorrhage on May 14th, 1930. News of his death made the front page of our local newspaper.
Two days later his funeral would be well-attended by Frederick’s finest as his body was laid to rest in his family plot in Mount Olivet’s Area Q.
Here lies his first wife Mary, and second wife Annie, who would pass in April, 1942. A few of his children and grandchildren as well. Nearby, one can also find Mr. Mullinix' former partners: Charles Edwin Kemp and Edward Bentz.
All the while, Mullinix Park will eventually celebrate in 2029 a century of providing a special recreation oasis amidst the hustle, bustle and historic backdrop of Frederick, Maryland.
Author's Note: I would have to say that my only disappointment in preparing this blog piece is that I was unsuccessful in finding an image of Mr. Mullinix' famed pamphlets titled "The Reliable Wall Paper Chart." If you should come across one, please let me know and send a jpg for me to insert in and include.
Well, I made it into this month’s edition of Frederick Magazine. Better yet, I was interviewed by writer Kate Poindexter in her fine story about Barbara Fritchie entitled “Legendary Tale.” Of course, I’ve been studying the nuances of the Fritchie episode for over 25 years, as it is has certainly been one of my favorite local research topics. Those who know me also are aware that I’m always up for challenging and busting age-old myths, and new ones too. But, I will confess, I get just as much satisfaction in proving myths true as well.
As you may have seen (in the Frederick Magazine article), or already know otherwise, the Barbara Fritchie tale consists of many twists, turns and layers. It also possesses an interesting cast of supporting characters as well, featuring two other viable “flag-waving” understudies who could have easily been blessed with the lasting fame that Dame Fritchie has received. One of these ladies, Nannie (Nancy) Crouse, hailed from Middletown but eventually spent all her adult life a short distance from the cemetery as she lived in the first block of West South Street. Like Barbara, she is buried next to her husband (John Bennett) here in Frederick’s Mount Olivet Cemetery in Area B/Lot 2.
The other “flag-toting Barbara” in question has always been shrouded in mystery and controversy. She also just happens to be one of my sentimental favorite individuals from our county’s rich heritage story. Her name is Mary Quantrill.
Mary Quantrill lived a sad and desperate life after the events that played out in September of 1862 and were compounded by writers and reporters for many years to follow. Writer and humorist Mark Twain is responsible for saying: “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.” This is so fitting to sum up the downfall of Mrs. Quantrill. You see, she was a victim of “cancel culture,” a century and a half before it was even a thing. This was the result of her situation not getting the press and embellishment garnered by Fritchie by a well-known poet who was deeply connected in the media of his time. However, there’s something about Mary that also “did her in” so to speak—a highly controversial surname. As rare as the last name of Quantrill still is, it had, at that time, gained an unpopular reputation thanks to a nephew living out west. Mary would never meet this individual during her lifetime.
William Clarke Quantrill
Quantrill's Raiders were the best-known of the pro-Confederate partisan guerrillas (also known as "bushwhackers") who fought in the American Civil War. Their leader was William Clarke Quantrill (1837-1865) and the gang included legendary outlaws Jesse James, brother Frank James, and Cole Younger.
Early in the war, Missouri and Kansas were nominally under Union government control and became subject to widespread violence as groups of Confederate bushwhackers and anti-slavery Jayhawkers competed for control. The town of Lawrence, Kansas, a center of anti-slavery sentiment, had outlawed Quantrill's men and jailed some of their young women. In August 1863, Quantrill led an attack on the town, killing more than 180 civilians, supposedly in retaliation for the casualties caused when the women's jail had collapsed. Many of those slaughtered in broad daylight included young boys whose ability to hold a firearm resulted in their executions by “the Raiders.”
William Clarke Quantrill was born at Canal Dover, Ohio. His father was Thomas Henry Quantrill, formerly of Hagerstown, Maryland, and his mother was Caroline Cornelia Clark, a native of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The oldest of twelve children (four of whom died in infancy), Quantrill endured a tempestuous childhood. By the time he was sixteen, he found himself teaching school in Ohio. A year later (1854), his abusive father died of tuberculosis, leaving the family with a huge financial debt. Quantrill's mother had to turn her home into a boarding house in order to survive.
During this time, Quantrill helped support the family by continuing to work as a schoolteacher, but he left home a year later and headed to Illinois where he took up a job in the lumberyards, unloading timber from rail cars. One night while working the late shift, he killed a man. Authorities briefly arrested Quantrill even though he claimed that he had acted in self-defense. Since there were no eyewitnesses, and the victim was a stranger who didn’t know anyone in town, William was set free. Nevertheless, the police strongly urged him to leave the town of Mendota (Illinois) where he was living. William Clarke Quantrill continued his career as a teacher, moving to Fort Wayne, Indiana in February 1856. The school district was impressed with Quantrill's teaching abilities, but the wages remained meager. Quantrill journeyed back home to Canal Dover that fall, with no more money in his pockets than when he had left.
The frustrating experience seems to have struck a nerve with the young educator, as he would leave his classroom for a drastically different life—as a slave catcher. William Clarke Quantrill joined a group of bandits who roamed the Missouri and Kansas countryside and apprehended escaped slaves. Later, the group became Confederate soldiers, who were referred to as "Quantrill's Raiders.” It was a pro-Confederate partisan ranger outfit that was best known for its often brutal guerrilla tactics, which made use of effective American Indian field and combat skills.
Quantrill is often noted as influential in the minds of many bandits, outlaws and hired guns of “the Old West” as it was being settled. In May 1865, Quantrill was mortally wounded in combat by Union troops in Central Kentucky in one of the last engagements of the Civil War. He died of wounds in June. Meanwhile, the James brothers formed their own gang and conducted robberies for years as a continuing insurgency in the region.
William Clarke Quantrill’s grandfather, Captain Thomas Quantrill, spent considerable time in Frederick, primarily at the old Hessian Barracks grounds—land that once graced the fields located across from our cemetery’s front gate. A British immigrant who raised a company of soldiers in Hagerstown for the War of 1812, Captain Quantrill was described as “a brave soldier” who participated (and was injured) in the Battle of North Point in Baltimore in September, 1814. Thomas Quantrill would eventually move to Washington, DC with his family following his wife’s death. His oldest son, Thomas Henry Quantrill (William Clarke Quantrill’s father) would move to Stark Ohio to open a blacksmith business.
Meanwhile, Thomas Henry’s younger brother, named Archibald Richey Quantrill, spent the bulk of his life in Washington DC, and would eventually go into the newspaper business, serving as a printer and compositor for the National Intelligencer. Archibald would marry his second wife, Mary Ann Sands, on February 8th, 1854.
Mary Ann Sands was born in Hagerstown on January 21st, 1823. She was the oldest of three children born to George Washington and Mary Ann (Cronise) Sands who were married in Hagerstown in August of 1821. The family moved to Frederick County and resided in the northwestern part of the county first, eventually making their way to Frederick City. They would reside in a rented dwelling in the 200 block of West Patrick Street, just a short distance up the hill and west from the Barbara Fritchie household. This Sands family can be found back to the 1830 census as living in Frederick. Mary’s father was listed as a school teacher in the 1850 census and also as an esquire, serving later as a judge in the city court of Lacon, Illinois. He apparently had an interest in writing poetry too.
The Sands family consisted of three children with Mary as the oldest, followed by two brothers: George, Jr. and Louis . The older of the two, George W. Sands, Jr. (@1824-1874), would become a lawyer and politician. Louis would relocate to Suffolk County, New York (Long Island) and work for the railroad and later became a patent dealer.
Our lead subject, Mary Quantrill, married Archibald Quantrill in 1854 and can be found living in Washington DC’s 1st Ward in the 1860 census, with husband Archibald’s profession listed as that of a claims agent. The family at this time included six children, four of which from Mr. Quantrill’s first marriage to a Frederick native named Mary Westenberger.
By September of 1862, Mary would be back in Frederick and residing in her earlier home of 220 West Patrick St. in Frederick. With the serious threat to the Union’s “Capital City” during wartime, Archibald thought it best that Mary and their children reside in Frederick with Mary’s elderly mother, as Washington was thought to be a prime target for Confederate attacks. Mary's father was living in Illinois at this time. The elder Mrs. Sands is listed as blind in the 1860 census, so perhaps Mary was also involved in care-giving for her mother as well. Regardless, Archibald Quantrill remained in Washington at this time.
During the Civil War, several accounts say that Mary Quantrill operated a small private school from the home on West Patrick at this time. “Mrs. Quantrill at the time of the incident was a handsome woman,” says author William E. Connelly in his 1909 biography of William Clarke Quantrill entitled Quantrill and the Border Wars. Connelley goes on to state that Mary Quantrill was the “The True Heroine” of the day (not Barbara Fritchie), and that “Mrs. Quantrill appears to have been a woman of superior intelligence. She has for many years a teacher in Frederick, and was a frequent contributor to the “Evening Herald” of York (PA). It is said that she always felt keenly the injustice Whittier had done her.”
Archibald Quantrill was proven wrong in early September, 1862, when Frederick was the first, major Northern town Gen. Robert E. Lee would bring his Rebel Army of Northern Virginia, after crossing the Potomac River. Many are familiar with the fact that the Confederates were basically given a cold reception here at that time, save for a smattering of southern-leading residents. Not getting the assistance he had hoped for, Gen. Lee headed west toward South Mountain and Washington County, utilizing the National Pike to transport his large fighting force. West Patrick Street was part of this great road, and Mary Quantrill would have a front row seat for the Confederate parade out of town which began in the early morning hours of Wednesday, September 10th. She even had her Union flag proudly displayed from a railing on her front porch to give the Rebel horde a proper “send-off.”
Mrs. Quantrill made a lot of noise that particular day, and was certainly noticed by soldiers, officers and a number of her Patrick Street neighbors. However, she didn’t make a lasting name for herself—or should I say, she didn’t receive help from a Georgetown novelist (E.D.E.N Southworth) or Quaker poet from Massachusetts (John Greenleaf Whittier). In late summer of 1863, these literary luminaries had an Abolitionist agenda to tend to, and fast-tracked a work of prose that featured Mary’s feisty neighbor—the nonagenarian who lived a football field’s length down the street whose name rhymes with “bitchy.” Yes, the name of Barbara Fritchie (or Frietchie) would ring true as not only Frederick’s heroine, but that of a nation—or at least the part of it that was still intact as the Union at that time.
So, what exactly transpired on September 10th, 1862 in the 200 block of West Patrick Street? Well I have enclosed a vital article which appeared in the Washington Star newspaper (Washington D.C.). This particular letter to the editor was re-published in the New York Times on February 15th, 1869.
A pretty colorful scene, wouldn’t you agree? Regardless, Dame Fritchie had died in December, 1862 and never lived to enjoy (or possibly refute) her fame, as she died at age 96, eleven months before the poem was published in the Atlantic Monthly Magazine October, 1863. The above newspaper clipping from 17 years later (1869) provides incredible context to Mary’s interaction with boisterous Confederates on that “Cool September morn.” Mary’s son, Thomas C. Quantrill had been mistakenly admonished in a Washington newspaper for being associated with the infamous Missouri Raider, William Clarke Quantrill.
Thomas pointed out the error and exclaimed that he knew the man only as well as the general public knew the man. Thomas offered that he had volunteered for US Army duty in advance of the First Battle of Bull Run but was rejected due to physical limitations. In expressing his devotion to the Union, and not Confederacy, he made mention of his mother's heroics in Frederick on the morning of September 10th, 1862. He thought his mother had stood humble and tight-lipped long enough and should get at least some credit and accolades for her heroic role played in Frederick during the Civil War. This renewed interest in Barbara Fritchie came at a time when the original Fritchie house was being razed by the Frederick municipality in an effort to combat Frederick flood measures for Carroll Creek.
Mary Quantrill had moved back to the nation’s capital in either 1863 or 1864. She was unable to escape the constant adoration her former neighbor (Barbara) continued to receive posthumously. And amazingly, no one definitively saw Barbara harass the Confederates on that fateful day, including our famed diarist, Jacob Engelbrecht, who lived directly across from the Fritchie house. He would make a journal entry in October of 1863 upon reading Whittier's Barbara Frietchie poem in a newspaper, commenting that this was the first he had heard of such an event and puzzled as he had watched the Confederate Army pass his door that entire day without a monumental incident occurring across the street.
Mary Quantrill lived a lonely and broke life in her later years. In my initial research on Mary Quantrill back in 2007, I lost track of Mary save for the newspaper items I had found above. I could not find her in the 1870 US census. After countless attempts utilizing the popular internet site Ancestry.com, I finally found the family in question under the name of Archibald and Mary Richey. The infamy associated with the Quantrill family name, thanks to the exploits of William Clarke Quantrill, must have been too overwhelming for a peaceful existence free of criticism in the nation’s capital. Archibald’s middle name would serve as a less auspicious identifier.
Mary Ann (Sands) Quantrill died on August 1st, 1879, and I have surmised it was likely from depression and a broken heart. The actual cause on the death certificate is cardiac-related so I’m not entirely off in my medical assessment. Mary is not buried in Mount Olivet, but rather Glenwood Cemetery in Washington, DC. Sadly, her “Story in Stone” has never been fully told, as she is buried in an unmarked grave. As a matter of fact, most of her immediate family has the same predicament. I have often wondered if this was a result of “cancel culture” for being thought of as a “want to be” hell bent on riding on Barbara’s coattails, or worse yet trying to steal the fame belonging to the defiant and deceased 95 year-old? Or were her detractors simply upset with that pesky Quantrill name, and the familial relation to one of the baddest men in the entire country? I think it was a lethal combination of both.
One of the most gratifying finds in my “search for Mary Quantrill” came in the form of obituaries in the Frederick papers. As not to influence your judgment, I will simply present both from our two Frederick newspapers of record of that time.
By the 1880 census, the Quantrill family name would reappear in print again as Archibald and three daughters (Mary, Julia and Georgie) are found living on K Street in the Northeast part of the District of Columbia.
Mount Olivet and Mary Quantrill
What we do have here in Mount Olivet are some close connections to Mary Quantrill. One of which is her brother, George W. Sands Jr. Mr. Sands had been practicing his legal career in Howard County and would become States attorney for the county by the mid-1850s. He would be elected state delegate from that county and, unlike his midwestern cousin William Clarke Quantrill, served as an outspoken Unionist and opponent to slavery. Sands would participate as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1864 and was quite active in constructing the third state constitution of Maryland which abolished slavery, taking effect November 1st, 1864. He was also a US collector of internal revenue under President Lincoln.
George W. Sands, Jr. died on July 28th, 1874 and was buried in Mount Olivet’s Area H/Lot 156 Strangely, he too is buried in an unmarked grave. Our records show that he is definitely here in space #3, and has two unknown individuals buried to each side of him. Could one of these graves be his (and Mary’s) mother (Mary Ann Sands)? I continue to search for the answer as our cemetery records books cannot confirm Mary Sands being here, or anywhere else in Frederick. She is definitely not recorded being at Glenwood in DC with husband George, Sr. or her daughter and the rest of the Quantrill family.
Mary Sands is found in the census of that year and residing with a woman named Eliza Shaffer, perhaps a relation of some sort. Mrs. Shaffer was widowed at the time. A decade later, Mrs. Sands was living with a 70 year-old black woman named named Elizabeth Saint.
I decided to see if Mrs. Shaffer was buried in Mount Olivet and I discovered from our records that an Elizabeth Matthews Shafer was buried here in March,1867, but her gravesite is listed as unknown. So I ask the question again, could Mrs. Sands and Mrs. Shaf(f)er be buried in Area H/Lot 156 with George W. Sands, Jr.?
I found Mrs. Sands' husband was elsewhere during both these census years, but I haven't found him yet. I'm assuming he was either in Illinois, or in Ellicott City as his obituary claims he was a one-time resident of the Howard County town.
As I said earlier, the Sands home was on the south side of the 200 block of West Patrick Street, about 50 yards west of the Bentz Street intersection. I found that the family had been renting this home for years from landlord, James H. Hopwood (1811-1883). Mr. Hopwood was one of the city’s busiest construction contractors. He also was heavily connected to the flag-waving incidents at hand.
James and wife Mary Ann Hopwood lived a few doors west (234 W. Patrick St.) from Mary Quantrill and were the parents of a few of Mary Quantrill’s students. Of particular interest is Mary Hopwood (b. 1847), Mary’s oldest student and referenced by name in Mrs. Quantrill’s first person narrative of her experience on September 10th, 1862.
Shortly after Barbara Fritchie’s death in December, 1862, her heirs sold their famous relative’s house to a Mr. George Eissler for use as a dyeing and scouring business. In late July of 1868, a disastrous flood washed away part of the old Fritchie property and caused the home to be condemned by the city. Mr. Eissler moved to a new home across the street, and the Fritchie house was put up for auction. The town fathers under Barbara’s Southern leaning grandnephew, Frederick Mayor Valerius Ebert, were interested in widening Carroll Creek at this location.
The original Fritchie household was purchased from the city for $300 in early April and, upon the terms of sale, was fully dismantled and removed by May 15th of 1869 amidst the protest of the Frederick Examiner’s editor and others around the country. Jacob Engelbrecht even comments on this in his diary. It is fascinating to note that the sole bidder and eventual new owner of the property would also be the man in charge of the demolition operation of said heroine’s home. Simple “addition by subtraction” as James H. Hopwood’s wrecking ball would help initiate flood control overtures in an effort to help tame Carroll Creek.
I’m thinking that Mr. Hopwood and other leaders in town had simply heard enough about Barbara Fritchie over a seven-year span. Mr. Hopwood was awarded the 1869 bid to dismantle the original Fritchie house and, afterwards, would build a two-story brick house on the property and was responsible for building a new wooden bridge over Carroll Creek at this location.
He was surely in the Quantrill camp of loyalty as his daughter had been a hero as well, standing beside Mrs. Quantrill in her defiance of the Confederate Army earlier in the decade. The bittersweet part of the story here is that Mary died at age 17 on October 6th, 1864. She would be forgotten by the history books as well.
Some of the Ebert children (Barbara Fritchie’s grandnieces) were also students of Mrs. Quantrill and under her tutelage on that fateful day in September, 1862. T.J.C. Williams History of Frederick County, published in 1910, contains a biography that makes specific reference to Mrs. Quantrill as a teacher. This can be found in the biography of Samuel Davis, a miller and storekeeper in Fountain Mills (New Market district). It is stated that he was married to Rebecca Maria Ebert (b.1850), a former student and next-door neighbor to Mary Quantrill. At the end of his bio, the author makes a point to say:
“In the connection it might be said that Rebecca Ebert, (daughter of John Ebert and second wife Ann Fritchie), was a pupil of Mary Quantrill, who was really the woman who waved the flag which occasioned Whittier’s famous poem.”
Ironically, Mrs. Davis’ maternal grandmother was Maria Rebecca (Fritchie) Ebert, sister of John Caspar Fritchie. John Caspar Fritchie was Barbara (Hauer) Fritchie’s husband of course. You may also recall Rebecca (Ebert) Davis’ brother named William Augustus Ebert of whom I wrote a story titled “The Lost Whitesmith” back in November, 2020. William accidentally shot himself while performing a repair on a pistol. The wound proved fatal and his grave can be found in the same plot of his sister (Area G/Lot 202). I missed out on bidding successfully for his photo which was up for auction on eBay. However, another photo of a young girl was up for auction at the same time from this family. I assume that this could be Rebecca Ebert in earlier days of the 1860s, however it could have been another sister as well.
Mary’s first-hand account is corroborated by another neighbor, a man named Henry M. Nixdorff who operated a general store a half block east of Mary’s home on West Patrick Street. The location was the same as the former Jennifer’s Restaurant (owned by Jennifer Dougherty), and most recently known as Le Parc Bistro.
Mr. Nixdorff was the son of one of our War of 1812 soldiers buried in the cemetery. He was an intimate friend of Mrs. Fritchie and felt compelled to write a book in 1887 entitled Life of Whittier’s Heroine Barbara Fritchie. In this work, the author defended Ms. Fritchie’s real-life persona as a patriotic woman, kind neighbor and God-fearing Christian above all. This offering, with its personal anecdotes and colorful depictions of the aged town character, countered the more fact driven/no nonsense book written by Caroline W. H. Dall entitled Barbara Frietchie: A Study. Nixdorff’s book which underwent subsequent re-publishings, included an account of the Quantrill event that goes as follows:
“I happened to look up the street, and saw a very intelligent lady, a neighbor, standing on her front porch, with a small Union flag in her hand waving it and making apparently the most earnest remarks to a Confederate officer who had ridden his horse over on the pavement up to the porch where she was standing. I was afterward assured by those who had the pleasure of being present that such glowing words of patriotism fell from the lips of Mrs Quantrell that the officer looked on and listened with wonder and surprise, and whilst he was present would not allow his men to do her the least of harm. After his departure however, some of the soldiers belonging to the army came and knocked the flag from her hand, breaking the staff into several pieces.”
Mr. Nixdorff even went so far to have five neighbors, who had apparently witnessed the event up close and personal, sign a statement that said his account was genuine. I found all five of the signers buried here in Mount Olivet: Mrs. Matilda (Hauer) Fleming (1820-1887), Mrs. Harriet “Hallie” M. (Fleming) McDonald (1848-1906), Mrs. Kate (Hauer) Cashour (1850-1891), Nicholas Hughes Fleming (1852-1913), William W. Fleming (1854-1926).
Mr. Nixdorff is buried in Area B/Lot 1. This man was connected to all three flag-wavers as he was close friends with Barbara Fritchie as mentioned, and helped exonerate Mary Quantrill. The last connection is to Nannie (Crouse) Bennett, who just happens to be buried in the next lot over.
Another neighbor and eyewitness who kept the heroic story of Mary Quantrill alive for friends and later generations of family was a lady named Laura A. (Hiteshew) Railing (1843-1923). Mrs. Railing lived with her husband George across the street from the Sands home on West Patrick Street. She told the story to whoever would listen up to her dying days. These witnesses to history just saw Mrs. Quantrill as a mirage, a woman who displayed great bravery and then suddenly disappeared shortly thereafter, never to return. She was an enigma of sorts to those who heard the story.
One more nugget I’d like to add. In the year 1876, Mary fruitlessly tried to get aid from author John Greenleaf Whittier in the form of clearing her name and admitting that she perhaps was owed the same fame as Ms. Fritchie. Three years before her death, she was in poor health, and literally destitute as being unhire-able due to the court of public opinion and favor which had turned against her. I saw this letter with my own eyes in the collection of the Quaker Reading Library at Swarthmore College in Philadelphia. The piece was exquisitely written by this highly gifted woman. My heart sank at the very end as it seems that Whittier, himself, inscribed a solemn sobriquet beneath Mary's name on the back of the letter—“Barbara.”
As stated earlier, Mary’s final resting place is an unmarked grave in Glenwood Cemetery in Northeast Washington, DC, off Lincoln Ave. Look for the lone stone on the Quantrill lot belonging daughter Virginia (Quantrill) Browne, who participated in the underplayed flag-waving incident as well.
A few years ago someone pointed out to me that Mary’s grave had been added to the internet’s FindaGrave site within Glenwood’s interments. He said that I had a hand in this occurrence which made me quite happy. As I said, I have developed an incredible fondness for this unsung historical figure of Frederick’s past. If only she was buried in Mount Olivet, I could do more.
I’ve been to her gravesite three times down at Glenwood. The last time was back in 2015. It was a Sunday morning and I had just dropped off my stepson Jack at Reagan National as he was flying to Orlando with classmates for a marching band trip at DisneyWorld. When I drove closer to the Quantrill family plot, snow flurries began falling. I parked, and walked over to the hallowed ground of my old friend from countless hours of study and deduction. I immediately felt the pity for Mary all over again.
As I stood there, I felt inclined, however, to tell Mary a bit of good news since I had last visited her. Thanks to some grant money I had obtained, and a generous contribution from a local financial planner (Scott McCaskill) with help from the Frederick Womens Civic Club, there was now an interpretive wayside marker in front of her old house in Frederick (220 W. Patrick St). Her story could now be learned by those passing by.
As I turned to walk away, I could have sworn I heard a woman’s voice faintly say, “That’s great history boy, now work on getting me a proper tombstone.”
Almost everyday coming to (or leaving) work, I’m usually reminded of the September 11th tragedy that beset our country back in 2001. In my case, I would have to say it isn’t due to the fact that my employer is a cemetery, as I pass countless gravestones and markers on my commute through Mount Olivet and it’s eight miles of memorial drives and roadways. No, the reason for my “memory jog” can be blamed on a beautiful monument made of African Jet-Black granite and sitting on a corner lot at the entrance circle to our mausoleum chapel complex.
Under this 7300-pound memorial is the gravesite of Frederick County’s only victim of the New York portion of the infamous September 11th terrorism act that toppled both behemoth towers of the World Trade Center. I would like to add here that our county had two additional casualties on that fateful day: Chief Warrant Officer William Ruth, age 57, and Lt. Cmdr. Ronald J. Vauk, age 37. Both of these individuals were Mount Airy residents and died in Washington, DC as employees of the U.S. Pentagon.
Here in Mount Olivet, just 50 yards out my office window, is a monument to the everlasting memory of Alan Patrick Linton, Jr., a Frederick native, born April 22nd, 1975. Alan attended local public schools and was a graduate of Frederick High School. He grew up on the same grounds formerly farmed by his ancestors living along, and within the vicinity, of Ballenger’s Creek, just southwest of downtown Frederick City and near Adamstown.
Alan was a classmate of my co-worker, Sales Manager Rick Reeder here at the cemetery. Rick recently found, and lent me, his 1993 yearbook allowing me another source in which to understand and illustrate Alan in his high school days. He was a bright student and admirable member of the football and wrestling teams. He graduated from FHS in spring 1993 and next headed to Pittsburgh's Carnegie-Mellon University earning a dual degree in business and economics.
As our nation solemnly remembers the 20th anniversary of that frightening day in September, 2001, the magnitude will certainly be weighing heavier on the minds of those who were directly affected by the devastation and loss incurred. Here at home, it should be obvious that it will be a day to reflect and endure (just like the previous 18 anniversaries) for Alan’s parents, A. Patrick, Sr. and Sharon Lynn Linton, along with Alan's siblings... Laura and Scott.
Alan Patrick Linton Jr. was only 26 years old, in the prime of his life, and working in the heart of Manhattan’s Financial District as an assistant manager and fixed-income analyst for Sandler O'Neill & Partners. His condominium home was across the Hudson River in Jersey City. I’m wondering if his office window offered a view of his New Jersey domicile, as I know his legendary workplace commanded views of all the City’s iconic surrounding landmarks such as Wall Street, the Battery, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building and the legendary five boroughs.
This was one of the chief perks of employment in a high-rise building like the south tower of the World Trade Center. I recall my own visit a few years earlier in which I ventured to the “Top of the World Observatory” to take in the 360-degree view of New York City. This was on the 110th floor of Tower Number 2.
However, that blessing became a curse on that beautiful September morn as hijacked airliners were purposefully flown into each of the twin towers as the deadliest single terrorism act the world had ever witnessed. Our former Carrollton Manor resident was working on the building's 104th floor when United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into floors 75-85 of the South Tower at 9:03am. Everyone aboard the plane, and hundreds in the building, died instantly as a result.
Alan was trapped above the carnage, and those of us who witnessed this tragedy unfold before our very eyes on live television further saw the collapse of this architectural masterpiece just 56 minutes after the initial impact of the plane. The North tower would collapse at 10:28am.
I had the opportunity to talk to Mr. and Mrs. Linton last week. I knew they would be interviewed by the local paper and other outlets as has become an annual tradition, so I wanted to ask a few different questions. What truly intrigued me was an explanation for the beautiful monument and burial in Mount Olivet.
Pat Linton said that he and his wife are very religious, as was son, Alan. As members of Frederick Church of the Brethren, Alan attended church regularly from childhood up to his death as he often came home to Frederick most weekends. Pat said that he’d come home Friday nights and leave Sunday nights, many times at the urging of his parents after dinner. He was a true homebody.
Sharon Linton spent the first seven years hoping her son was still alive somewhere, perhaps suffering from memory loss or like malady. The family received a few of Alan’s belongings that he had on him on that September day twenty years ago. One such was his Maryland driver’s license found several blocks away from the South Tower. Federal investigators also delivered to the family some of their beloved son’s mortal remains including a part of the forearm. These were buried in the Linton plot during a small, private graveside service at Mount Olivet in fall of 2005.
Even though reality of situation (regarding his ultimate survival) eventually sunk in, the Lintons relied on their Christian faith and believed their son was in a safe place, “somewhere better” as Pat, a former bank executive, would quietly exclaim. He went on to say that this led to the choice of a cross and flowers design to be etched upon the grave monument. To further the theme, two flower vases project from the gravestone’s face and are changed seasonally by the family.
Speaking of family, the Lintons have a relatively large one, and with Alan’s passing they gave serious consideration to their own burial plans. They would purchase a large corner lot for themselves positioned in Area TJ/Lot 2. This is located along the entry drive directly in front of the original chapel mausoleum building which first erected in 1997. They couldn’t tell me why they had chosen this particular granite stone hailing from southern Africa for the family monument into the future, but were extremely happy and proud of their choice. They plan to join their son in this noble location when their respective times come.
Pat told me that Mount Olivet was a natural choice, as it represented “home.” He went on to say: “My wife’s parents, Howard and Edith Moss, are buried in Mount Olivet. Alan’s other set of grandparents, my parents Jack Thomas Linton and wife Betty Mae (Thomas) Linton) are also here, along with my son’s great-grandparents (Russell Herbert “Brownie” Linton and Edith Marie Brandenburg).”
I found the Moss’ on Area SS/Lot81, only about 100 yards from Alan’s grave. The Linton relatives were roughly 200 yards away in Mount Olivet’s Area GG/Lot 254. Interestingly, many local genealogists and family historians may recall that Jack and Betty Linton maintained a room in their home dedicated to the extensive obituary collection started by Jacob M. Holdcraft, who spent decades documenting the cemeteries and graveyards of Frederick culminating in the book entitled Names in Stone. The Lintons maintained the collection from 1972-June, 2010.
About the same distance away to the north lies the final resting place of Alan’s paternal grandmother’s parents, his great-grandparents Russell Cephas Thomas and wife Bertha Mae Zimmerman. This is in Area T/Lot 119. Russell was the son of John Franklin Thomas, buried elsewhere in The Manor Cemetery (aka Church Hill Cemetery) near the family’s ancestral home at Adamstown. This is located on Ballenger Creek Pike across the street from St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church.
In his 1921 work The History of Carrollton Manor, author William Jarboe Grove wrote of the family:
“The Thomas family forms so large a part of the early history of Carrollton Manor, that I am compelled, on account of space, to give only a brief account of this large family, who, by their industry and thrift, have prospered and left a splendid name and record for prosperity. These pioneers were among the very first settlers of Carrollton Manor. About 1750 three brothers emigrated here from Germany; John, Peter and Valentine. John was born in 1731 and settled on the old homestead near Adamstown. His descendants still hold the land.
John had four children among whom was Henry Thomas of J. born October 18, 1765 on the old homestead. His whole life was spent in clearing timber and cultivating the land. Mr. Thomas married November 22, 1790 Ann Margaret Ramsburg. They had five children. Their son George Thomas of H., was born May 3, 1798 and lived on the old homestead during his early life, and by his industry and frugality acquired several other farms. He was a self-made man and took up at home the study of mathematics, and was recognized as an expert surveyor, all of which he taught himself through perseverance and practice.
In 1968, the German Thomas Cemetery, originally located on a farm about a mile away, was removed to Manor Cemetery (aka Church Hill Cemetery). Many date from the late 1700s. They are arranged in a row beside the guardrail on the right edge of the cemetery. Across Ballenger Creek Pike is St. Matthew's Church Cemetery.
George Thomas married three times. With third wife Julia Ann Hargett, he had the above-mentioned John Franklin Thomas in 1843, our subject Alan Linton, Jr.’s great-great grandfather.
The old Thomas homestead of three generations starting with Alan's great-grandfather, John Franklin Thomas, still stands on Ballenger Pike. This was originally constructed by early German immigrant Christian Kemp around 1750. It eventually wound up in the Thomas family in 1910 and was passed down to son Russell C. Thomas and then to daughter Betty (Thomas) Linton and son-in-law Jack Linton. it is still owned within the family today, now by Alan’s sister, Laura.
Alan’s childhood home is immediately to the north. Across the street are former Thomas family farmlands that were developed into the community aptly named “Linton at Ballenger.” The main drive in is named Alan Linton Boulevard. There is also a Jack Linton Drive and a Betty Linton Trail.
Pat and Sharon Linton recounted that Alan said he hoped to someday earn enough money to give to philanthropic purposes which eventually became the impetus for the Linton family’s generous contribution to the Religious Coalition. Their gift in Alan’s memory helped establish the Exodus Program and the Coalition naming its emergency shelter in his honor. This is located on DeGrange Street on the west side of downtown Frederick.
The Linton family has visited the memorial at New York’s “Ground Zero” where they made rubbings of Alan's name. They still hold special birthday dinners on his birthday. "He's always with us." remarked Pat Linton at the end of our conversation.
Please keep this special family and the memory of an equally special young man in your thoughts as we experience this landmark 20-year anniversary. Alan Patrick Linton, Jr.’s grave monument will always serve as a tangible reminder of a horrific event in our history, but one in which we can learn invaluable lessons when it comes to the resolve and resiliency of a family to continue moving forward despite the hardest of losses. Alan's grave also symbolizes the resolve and resiliency of the United States of America and its people in continuing to move forward as well.
We Shall Never Forget
Let the world always remember,
That fateful day in September,
And the ones who answered duty's call,
Should be remembered by us all.
Who left the comfort of their home,
To face perils as yet unknown,
An embodiment of goodness on a day,
When men's hearts had gone astray.
Sons and daughters like me and you,
Who never questioned what they had to do,
Who by example, were a source of hope,
And strength to others who could not cope.
Heroes that would not turn their back,
With determination that would not crack,
Who bound together in their ranks,
And asking not a word of thanks.
Men who bravely gave their lives,
Whose orphaned kids and widowed wives,
Can proudly look back on their dad,
Who gave this country all they had.
Actions taken without regret,
Heroisms we shall never forget,
The ones who paid the ultimate price,
Let's never forget their sacrifice.
And never forget the ones no longer here,
Who fought for the freedoms we all hold dear,
And may their memory never wane,
Lest their sacrifices be in vain.
-Alan W. Jankowski
Special thanks to Laura (Linton) Anspach for the many family ancestor photos found on her Linton family tree on Ancestry.com.
Throughout the summer, I have been watching the slow transformation of a once-grand estate from our community’s past into a new housing development. Such is often the case of progress and necessity in our highly sought-after town and county. This parcel sits along a distinct stretch of “suburban” Frederick City roadway, positioned west of one of the trickiest thoroughfares in town to pronounce, but certainly not to drive. I’m talking about Baughmans Lane.
Go ahead, give it your best shot!— “Bawman’s Lane,” “Bogman’s Lane,” “Bowman’s Lane,” “Bowkman’s Lane.” Well, the family in question is of Germanic origin, and I found that the name derives from Bachmann. It was softened and anglicized, resulting in the “ch” being replaced by “ugh.” The proper pronunciation in this particular case is “Bachman’s Lane,” or I would gladly accept “Bawkman’s Lane.” Not to sound like a hypocrite, but I will tell you that my last name (Haugh) is pronounced “Haw” and is of Scottish and Irish origin. Many locals are familiar with the German variety of my surname, associating it with many earlier Dutch residents hailing from the Ladiesburg vicinity near the Monocacy River border with Carroll County, a stone's throw from Keymar, birthplace of our cemetery’s best known graveholder. Of course, Ladiesburg is the home of Haugh’s Church Road, pronounced “Hawk’s Church Road.”
This popular transportation connector (northwest of historic downtown) was a Godsend at the time my family's arrival to Frederick and our new home in the Indian Springs area in 1974. Baughmans Lane joined West Patrick Street (US Route 40) and Shookstown Road, as well as Rosemont Avenue. At that time, there were no other roads to intersect Baughmans Lane, save for Rock Creek Drive. Key Parkway, Waterford Drive, Rock Creek Drive, or Jacob Brunner Drive all came later.
Outside of a couple houses at the site of the fore-mentioned intersection of Baughmans and Shookstown Road, you couldn’t find much along this stretch of pavement until you got to the ends. Anchored on Rosemont Avenue was the Campbell family-owned gas station and a small, car dealer/garage on opposite corner. At the bustling other end (of Baughmans Lane), there was the Holiday Inn Hotel and the aptly named Holiday Cinemas (aka $1.99) movie theater next door. The stalwart was the former State Police Barrack B that once proudly stood on the locale of today's Wawa convenience store. No one ever connected with the original Tasker's Chance land patent of the mid 1700s could ever imagine the emergence and scope of a housing development that would one day take the same name some 250 years later.
One more trivial, side note, the shopping center behind the old police barrack was new here as well in the spring of 1973. Named Frederick County Square, this suburban, retail oasis was made possible by the purchase of a piece of the Conley farm for the purpose, helping to create the legendary "Golden Mile" which also boasted the Frederick Towne Mall and Frederick Shoppers World opening at this same time. The Conley farm would also give birth to the Taskers Chance community decades later.
A convenient, side entrance off Baughmans Lane gave my parents access to Frederick County Square and their grocery store of choice, Giant Foods in its first Frederick location. Also here was our favorite "go-to" pizza place (Vince’s Pizza), the K-Mart, a Burger King and an indoor mall which boasted a few specialty stores, a restaurant, and best of all, a “state-of-the-art” movie theater where I first saw the original Star Wars movie when initially released. Yes, these memories are all lumped together and somehow are conjured up when I think about Baughmans Lane in my warped memory bank.
So where does the name of Baughman (for the lane) come from? Well, that’s a simple answer that cannot be debated—the Baughman family, prominent one-time residents of a fine, 19th century estate named “Poplar Terrace,” later named the Belle Aire Farm by Baughman descendants by the name of Conley. The long farm lane that led to the home (from the Old National Pike (US 40)) originally served for that very purpose—as it was actually Baughman’s Lane.
The former mansion was lost to a fire in the 1980s, but several existing farm-related structures including a tenant house, mill house and others are on the exact site of current construction that will transform the remaining 32-acre lot into a major housing development. The Belle Air Farm Planned Neighborhood projects 220 homes (townhouses and single-family units) to be built between Baughmans Lane and Bel Aire Lane to the west. Most recently, the property was still owned by the Conley family.
I find it ironic that the Baughmans lived here along Rock Creek, and there was a mill here going back to Colonial times. This ties-in nicely to the Baughman family name. According to a website entitled bachmannbaughmanhistory.com, author J. Ross Baughman writes:
“In German, “Baughman” means "Man of the Brook" or "One Who Dwells by the Stream." Some have guessed that the original namesake of this name built his house by a stream and became known for that, perhaps making his living there too, running a ferry service, toll bridge or water wheel mill.”
I will briefly introduce both the Baughmans and Conleys here in this week’s “Story in Stone.” I have long been acquainted with Gen. Louis Victor Baughman (1845-1906) and his father, John W. Baughman (1815-1872), as notable Frederick characters of our county’s past. Both were former editors of the Frederick Citizen newspaper. Sadly, I can’t claim either gentleman being buried here at Mount Olivet Cemetery as they, and their wives, are resting in peace at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in downtown (Frederick between E. Third and E. Fourth streets).
Two of Gen. Baughman’s sons (Edwin Austin and Louis Victor) are also interred at St. John’s, but a daughter, Helen Abell (Baughman) Conley (1884-1964), is buried here at Mount Olivet. She married Dr. Charles Henry Conley (1876-1956). Five (of six) of the Conley’s children are also interred here in our historic garden cemetery on the southside of downtown Frederick. One of these, Charles, Jr., would inherit his grandfather Col. Louis Victor Baughman’s fine home of “Poplar Terrace” and surrounding grounds. He would also concoct the new name of Belle Aire Farm.
Before I give you some backstory on these folks, let me start by telling you just a bit more on the mansion and farm residence that made Baughmans Lane a reality. Hold on tight, as I’m going to throw plenty of names at you.
As part of Benjamin Tasker’s 7,000 acre tract, aptly named “Tasker’s Chance” in 1725, it is interesting to note that the Belle Aire Farm is actually surrounded by a housing community of the same name—Tasker’s Chance as I mentioned earlier. It was built by the Kettler Brothers Corporation just a few decades ago. Going back to Frederick’s start, the Dulany family owned this property (as part of a much larger tract that included the land comprising Prospect Hall to the south. Eventually this fell into the hands of the Johnsons (of Gov. Thomas Johnson fame), and then in 1799 went to Col. John McPherson (1760-1829) who has been mentioned in this blog on numerous occasions as he is buried in Mount Olivet's Area E.
Col. McPherson’s heirs then sold the property to Edward N. Trail (1798-1876), father of Col. Charles Edward Trail, one of the founders of Mount Olivet back in 1852. Still with me so far?
Note that a J. H. Bruner (John H. Brunner) seems to be residing at the site of the Mill House adjacent Baughman's Lane and to Rock Creek (which flows under Baughmans Lane). This structure should be familiar to those who travel this road regularly as it practically adjoins the roadbed. I’ve read that this old building is planned to be salvaged and relocated from its original spot which is positive news, but also a necessity for the old lane to carry increased traffic in the future.
After Edward Trail died in 1876, his wife, Lydia (Ramsburg) Trail (1802-1884), left the land to son Charles E. Trail (1825-1909). Col. Trail was a prominent businessman and known for his own, impressive mansion built in downtown Frederick on East Church Street (today the site of the Keeney-Basford Funeral Home). Trail didn’t keep the former “McPherson property" long, selling the 250-acre estate in 1882 to his brother in-law, Cyrus G. Helfenstein (1828-1895). It was Mr. Helfenstein who built the "Poplar Terrace" mansion that Louis Victor Baughman would inherit and eventually hand down to Louis Victor Baughman and last resident, Dr. Charles H. Conley, Jr.
Louis Victor Baughman
According to the Baltimore Sun Almanac of 1907, Louis Victor Baughman was one of the most popular men in Maryland of his time, and was known as the “Little General,” or “Colonel Vic.” He was called the "little Napoleon of Western Maryland." Born in 1845, he attended public and private schools in Frederick, followed by Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg. From 1857 to 1861 he was an appraiser of the port of Baltimore. During the Civil War, he served in Company D, First Regiment of Maryland Confederate Cavalry, attaining the rank of colonel. Years later, the governor of Maryland would give him a political promotion to the rank of general.
After the war, Baughman practiced law in Brooklyn, NY for a time with former Maryland governor (and Frederick resident) Enoch Louis Lowe. Beginning in 1872, he became managing editor of the Frederick Citizen, a democratic paper founded by his father. Baughman was a leader for the Democratic Party in the state, serving at different times as a member of the Democratic county committee of Frederick County, the State Democratic Committee, and the National Democratic Committee. He served as state comptroller for four years and president of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and was president of the Frederick, Northern & Gettysburg Electric Railway Company after 1898.
As busy as he kept himself professionally, it comes as no surprise that Col. Baughman would marry later in life. His bride was Helen Abell whom he tied the knot in 1881. The former Miss Abell was the daughter of Arunah S. Abell, founder of the Baltimore Sun newspaper. Of particular interest to many blog readers will be the fact that Gen. Baughman was a noted horseman. During his tenure of ownership of “Poplar Terrace,” he transformed the old McPherson property into a country manor with a well-known and respected horse and cattle operation consisting of agricultural buildings that were constructed by Baughman for that very purpose.
He also had constructed an elaborate half-mile racing track here and a casino. “Poplar Terrace” was quite a showplace. I wrote an earlier blog back in 2015 which chronicled early cycling here in Frederick County. An interesting event occurred over the July 4th weekend of 1897 in which Frederick City hosted several bicycling contests at different locations within town, most at the Athletic Park.
That Saturday afternoon of the long weekend, cyclists found themselves feted and treated to entertainment at the estate of Gen. Baughman. Additional races, tandem and of the single wheel variety took place on Baughman’s horse track. He personally awarded nice silver trophies to the victors.
Two years later, national military hero and Frederick native, Admiral Winfield Scott Schley returned home to receive an incredible welcome. While here, he attended the annual Great Frederick Fair, was given a special excursion run on the new Frederick electric trolley system and was thrown an incredible luncheon party at Gen. Baughman’s residence on Rock Creek.
Although business and politics often took him away from Frederick, Baughman was said to have been the happiest at home at "Poplar Terrace." At his farm, Baughman also is said to have entertained such notables as James Cardinal Gibbons, archbishop of Baltimore, and national politician William Jennings Bryan who passed through Maryland on his first presidential campaign tour.
Louis Victor Baughman passed in 1906 after a two-month illness at the age of 61. Son Edwin Austin Baughman (1882-1946), inherited the property from his father and through his last will and testament would later donate land at the corner of Baughman’s Lane and US40 for the old state police barracks (previously mentioned). This is only fitting because "Austin" Baughman served as commissioner of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Commission during its formative years after being appointed to the post by the state governor in 1916. He became the first commissioner of the new State Police which originated within the Motor Vehicle Commission. Austin served until 1935, never married and had no direct heirs.
Following his death in 1946, "Poplar Terrace" and remaining land went to Austin's nephew, Charles H. Conley Jr. (1908-1993).
Charles Henry Conley, Jr.
Charles grew up on his parent’s fine manor estate of Guilford, located off another recognizable thoroughfare which began as a simple farm lane connecting to the Old Georgetown Pike (MD355). Of course, I’m talking about today’s Guilford Drive, gateway to Frederick’s first Wal-Mart, Frederick Commons Shopping Center (Kohl’s Best Buy, etc) and further west, the Conley Corporate Center. I will save the story of Charles’ father (Charles Henry Conley, Sr.) for another day, but feel compelled to make "able" mention of Charles, Jr’s. mother, Helen Abell (Baughman) Conley, born December 4th, 1884 and died October 21st, 1964. She grew up at “Poplar Terrace” and regularly traversed Baughmans Lane throughout her lifetime. She would marry her husband in December, 1905.
Charles Jr. was Helen’s second born and only son out of six children. He would attend St. Johns School in Frederick for high school and went to the University of Virginia to get his degree in medicine. He began practicing medicine in Buckeystown soon after.
Dr. Conley Jr. went on to become a prominent doctor in the area, who worked on behalf of the Frederick County Health Department, Federated Charities, the Record Street Home and the Maryland School for the Deaf. He married Alice Patton Walker, a native of Nebraska, in January, 1939.
The couple lived first in Buckeystown, then moved to downtown Frederick. During World War II, Dr. Conley enlisted in the US Naval Reserve and his father had to come out of retirement to take charge of his patients. The younger Dr. Conley served as assistant division surgeon.
Charles, Jr. returned from the war unscathed, but opted to take a medical refresher course at Duke University. He and the family would eventually move to the "Poplar Terrace" estate west of town.
It doesn’t appear that Dr. Conley had the same passion and drive for the "Poplar Terrace" property as his grandfather (Victor Louis Baughman). However, that may not be completely true—as no one ever demonstrated a like zeal for this slice of Frederick than did Gen. Baughman.
It was during the Conley family habitation, that the stately manor house was destroyed by fire in late August. 1982. This prompted the couple to move into the tenant house built by the McPhersons. As a young teenager, I recall my father driving me by the property and seeing the smoke still smoldering the day after the fire.
The good doctor died on November 6th, 1993. His death made front page news and he was remembered fondly with a well-attended funeral, and the respect of countless peers and residents. His wife Alice Patton (Walker) Conley (b. 1916) passed in 2011.
The vacant property fell into disrepair over the years, but I've always tried sneaking a peak up the gated entry lane off of Baughmans Lane when passing by. Development planning and demolition requests have appeared in the local newspaper and internet over the last decade. I can thank these, along with genealogy blogs for many of the fine visuals and photographs used to illustrate this story here. It was inevitable, and I'm just glad we had this scenic portion of the old and original, tree-lined Baughmans Lane for as long as we did.
Dr. Conley’s grandfather, Louis Victor Baughman" gave this parcel a lasting reputation which seems to now be in its final chapter. However, although commonly mispronounced by newcomers and lifelong residents alike, the old lane will always succeed in keeping the Baughman name alive regardless of the new neighborhood development that will take over what was left of a once-grand estate.
Meanwhile, our connection at Mount Olivet comes with having practically everyone who resided on the site of Poplar Terrace/Belle Aire Farm, with the exception of namesake Louis Victor Baughman and wife Helen. Their daughter is here though (Helen Abell (Baughman) Conley) and so are others from McPhersons to Trails, Helfensteins to the next generation of Conleys. The latter of which, Charles Henry Jr., and wife Alice, quietly repose next to Charles Jr's. parents and a sibling in a fine corner lot on the northwest section of Mount Olivet’s Area DD within Lot #1. I'm tempted to lobby to name the roadway in front of the family lot "Conway's Lane."
Last week I introduced readers to our new Mount Olivet Monument Hall of Fame through our “Stories in Stone” blog. One of the seven inductees (of the inaugural 2021 class of monuments) is that of the John Henry Williams family, and we refer to it as the Williams’ “Mourning Woman” Monument. This can be found in Area R/Lot 103-106, and clearly stands out because of an iconic statue.
Mr. Williams (1814-1896) was a banker and his family home is the same that today houses Federated Charities as it was bequeathed by the family for just that reason. Like the Williams "eternal home" here at the cemetery, you may better know the "mortal home" of the Williams because of another iconic statue. This would be the site where the iron dog (nicknamed “Charity”) adorns the front porch at 22 South Market Street in downtown Frederick.
John H. Williams' wife Eleanor Shriver (1814-1892) and three of his children reside in this burial plot which features a large central monument in the form of a sarcophagus. It is topped with a bowed woman caught in the act of mourning, while down on one knee. She has her head in her left hand, while her right hand is clutching a wreath. Adorned in ancient Greek attire, the female included as part of this monument is a commonly found example of cemetery iconography.
In Victorian era times, women were often portrayed as the mourners of the human race, the ones expected, and allowed, to express emotions. It is their presence in the cemetery that connotes sorrow and grief at the loss of a loved one. Meanwhile, the laurel wreath dates back to Roman times when soldiers wore them as triumphal signs of glory. The laurel was also believed to wash away the soldier’s guilt from injuring or killing any of his opponents. In funerary art, the laurel wreath is often seen as a symbol of victory over death.
According to the website Gravelyspeaking.com, a description is given for a replica of this monument design involving a mourning woman clutching a laurel wreath. Apparently the mourning figure represents Niobe, the Greek mythological Queen of Thebes. “Niobe had fourteen children (the Niobids) and taunted Leto, who only had two children, Apollo and Artemis. In his rage he sent his two children to avenge the slight done to him by Niobe striking out at what was most dear to her. Niobe, became the symbol of mourning when Apollo slaughtered her seven sons and Artemis killed her seven daughters. As one version of the story goes, upon seeing his dead fourteen children, Amphion, the King of Thebes, committed suicide. Her grief was so powerful that tears flowed ceaselessly from her forming the River Acheloos. Niobe was so stricken with grief that she fled to Mount Siplyus, near Manisa, Turkey, where she turned to stone.”
I was hoping to find a direct correlation as to the Williams choice of this funerary character, thinking perhaps the parents lost a child (or children) at a young age, or that they simply predeceased them. That wasn’t the case as son Henry died at 80 in 1918, and daughter Margaret Janet Williams died at age 77 in 1922.
I was already familiar with Margaret Janet Williams, as I had written about her a few years back in conjunction with a story written in 2018 about the founding women of the Frederick Chapter of the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution. “Jennie” Williams, as she was more commonly known, was born in 1844 and never married. She was a charter member of the Frederick DAR group begun by another, nearby Mount Olivet occupant, Betty Maulsby Ritchie in 1892, and served as the group’s first corresponding secretary. I was familiar with Jennie’s mother’s family, the Shrivers, as they have appeared in a few different writings in my past and once had a family burying ground near the southwest intersection of N. Bentz Street and Rockwell Terrace. In case you were wondering, most of these family members are a stone’s throw south of the Williams’ plot, as they were reinterred to Area MM earlier in the 20th century.
I didn’t know much about Jennie’s father and brother, except for the fact that both were successful in banking. Thanks to another man who shared the family name, T.J.C. Williams, I was able to learn a considerable amount about the family through a biography on Henry that appears in the History of Frederick County, Maryland, published in 1910. I include it here for your reading pleasure:
“Henry Williams, one of the best known and most influential citizens of Frederick County and formerly president of the Central National Bank of Frederick City, Md., was born in that city, October 26, 1837. He is a son of John H. and Eleanor (Shriver) Williams.
Henry Williams, the grandfather of Henry Williams, was a native of Pennsylvania, where he was born in 1742, and died in Frederick, Md., in 1820. He was of Scotch-Irish antecedents, and emigrated from Pennsylvania to Frederick County, Md., among the early settlers. At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War he was living near Emmitsburg, and organized and became Captain of a company from Frederick County that served throughout the struggle. He was one of the leading and most prominent citizens of the county in his day, and was held in high esteem. In politics, he was a staunch adherent and active supporter of the Federalist party. In a religious way he was connected with the Presbyterian church in which he was an active and consistent member. Mr. Williams was married to Jeannette Witherow, who was also of Scotch-Irish origin. They were the parents of only one son, John H.
John H. Williams, son of Henry and Jeanette Williams, was born near Emmitsburg, Frederick County, MD., in 1814, and died November 11, 1896. He was reared in the neighborhood of Emmitsburg, where he received his elementary education. He attended Jefferson College, Canonsburg, Pa., from which institution he was graduated in 1834. He then began the study of the law in Frederick City under William Schley, Esq., and was admitted to the Frederick County Bar. As a lawyer, Mr. Williams was entitled to high regard. He enjoyed a large and influential clientele, and represented many of the most important interests of the county. His legal ability was unquestioned, and he made his mark in the profession that he had so aptly chose as his work in life, winning for himself the regard and admiration of all who knew him. In every instance he was noted for the skillful manner in which he safeguarded the interests of his clients. Beginning in 1836, Mr. Williams was also for many years editor of the “Frederick Political Examiner,” and won high rank in the journalistic field.
For over forty years, he was connected with the Frederick County National Bank, and at the time of his death, was serving as its president. While in this position, he directed the affairs of the institution with a foresight and financial ability that stamped him as a man of high executive capacity. In politics, Mr. Williams was at first identified with the old-line Whig party, but upon the organization of the Know-Nothing party, he became an adherent and active supporter of the Democratic party, with which he remained until his death. In religion, he was for many years an active and devoted member of the Presbyterian church. In 1836, Mr. Williams was married to Eleanor Shriver, daughter of Judge Abraham Shriver, who was judge of the Circuit Court of Frederick County for forty years. John H. and Eleanor Williams were the parents of two children: Henry and Margaret Jeannette, who reside in Frederick."
The Williams family possessed two fine homes in Frederick that still stand today. John purchased a fine townhome at 22 S. Market Street in 1852. In 1881, he built a summer cottage west of town at the foot of Catoctin Mountain along the Old National Road leading up to Braddock Heights. This neighborhood is known as Fairview, and the Williams would name their cottage "Highland."
Henry Williams received his elementary education in private schools. He then attended the University of Virginia and later Yale College, New Haven, Conn. After completing his studies, he became a clerk for Alexander Murdock & Company, commission merchants, with which firm he remained for five years. In 1863, Mr. Williams enlisted in Company A, 33rd Texas Cavalry, Confederate, and served in the Valley of the Mississippi until the close of the war.
In 1865, Mr. Williams returned to Frederick, and entered the employ of the Central National Bank as a book-keeper. In 1871, he was promoted to discount clerk, and in 1876 he was made assistant cashier. Two years later, he was chosen cashier, and served in that capacity until 1897, when he was elected president of the institution. He retained the latter position until 1905, when he resigned, and has since lived in retirement. As the head of a flourishing financial institution, he won high repute for the able manner in which he directed its affairs, and became one of its best known financiers of this part of the State. His methods were always characterized by the highest principles, and he commanded the respect and confidence of business and financial circles generally. Mr. Williams is one of the best-known citizens of the county, and is held in high esteem by all who know him. He is a director of the Maryland School of the Deaf and Dumb, and a member and treasurer of the executive committee.
In politics, Mr. Williams has for the last fifteen years been a staunch adherent and supporter of the Jeffersonian Democracy, but has never aspired to public office. Fraternally, he is a member of Frederick Lodge, No. 684, Order of Elks. He is affiliated in a religious way with the Presbyterian church.
Mr. Williams was married in 1871, to Henrietta Marian Stokes, daughter of Robert Y. and Henrietta D. (Tyler) Stokes of Frederick City. Robert Y. Stokes, who died in 1874, was for many years president of the Central National Bank.”
Henry and Henrietta lived most of their adult lives in the vicinity of Court Street. In 1880, Henry lived in Carlin's City Hotel and in 1900 directly in front of the old Frederick County Courthouse (today's City Hall). In 1910, the couple resided in the Park Hotel, now the site of a parking lot at the intersection of Court and Church streets.
The Williams Family at Mount Olivet
Eleanor C. Williams died March 8th, 1892. Her obituary reports that she was originally buried in the earlier mentioned Shriver Burying Ground off N. Bentz Street. Four burial lots would eventually be purchased in Area R (Mount Olivet) on March 11th, 1894, and the body of Mrs. Williams was reinterred here on December 17th, 1894.
This is possibly the time that the monument was placed on the site, or perhaps it came with the death of husband John H. Williams on November 11th, 1896.
The children of John and Eleanor would join them here within the next three decades. Jennie (Margaret Janet) died at age 77 on April 8th, 1922. Brother Henry had died four years earlier on January 2nd, 1918. His widow, Henrietta, would join him here upon her passing in January, 1926.
More information about the Williams and the former Williams’ home at 22 S. Market Street can be found on the Federated Charities website, including a few photographs of how the home appeared in the early 1900s upon the time of Jennie’s death.
The 1919 Annual Report of Federated Charities contains the first mention of a bequest of the 22 South Market Street building from the estate of Margaret Janet Williams. Miss Williams stipulated that her home be used, “in the service of the people of Frederick.” The original structure was built in 1820 by Edward Goldsborough and it was subsequently owned by Henry Schley and John H. Williams and then his daughter, Margaret. Family photographs show a well-loved home, filled with animals, art and a late Victorian sensibility.
The building has been cited as “an extremely rare example of a 19th century urban form: a domestic complex consisting of a high-style residence connected to support structures,” by the Maryland Historic Trust. It is the only known such complex remaining in Frederick from the mid-to late 19th century, and it is also a rarity in Maryland. Federated Charities took possession of the building in 1930 along with a small endowment, and a number of antique furnishings and art pieces and began to fill its spaces with the kinds of programs that benefited a wide range of Frederick’s citizens as the city continued to expand.
As for “Charity” the dog, he was installed on the front porch of the home in 1858 by John H. Williams. Apparently he paid $45 for the statue, and an additional $5 for its marble base. Purportedly a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, “Charity” as he was named in 1989, is made of zinc and pewter and was cast during a time period where decorative statuary of this kind was a sign of influence when installed on a private home.
An apocryphal story is that Mr. Williams’ placed the dog strategically to prevent inebriated party attendees from falling off the family’s porch. I like that tale as I’m sure many have experienced a later need for the “hair of the dog” after a long night at neighboring “Wag’s” Restaurant and Bar. I certainly have myself, in younger days of course!
Over the years, both the tail and the head of the “Charity” statue have been broken off by vandals, including once in 1946 by two soldiers who were stationed at the German POW camp located west of Frederick. Each time the pieces were reinstalled and in 2005 the tail was rebuilt in a downward oriented position in order to stabilize it.
Federated Charities annual ART of the Dog event, celebrates Charity’s steady presence as a symbol of what this non-profit organization has continued to represent in the Frederick community for over a century. We can thank the Williams family and the story of their unending "charity" is a big part of this legacy.
The author would like to dedicate this week's story to Mr. Ron Harbaugh, who passed away suddenly earlier this week. Ron was a loyal reader and supporter of "Stories in Stone" since its inception in 2016. Rest in Peace my friend.
A structure housing memorials to famous or illustrious individuals usually chosen by a group of electors. This is the definition Merriam-Webster offers for a “hall of fame.” There are plenty of national “halls of fame,” the most famous perhaps being those related to professional sports and music. Cooperstown, New York is synonymous with baseball and Canton, Ohio professional football. Just up the road in Cleveland, one can find the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Fittingly, Nashville, Tennessee is home to the Country Music Hall of Fame, but did you know that a two hour ride southeast on I-24 would bring you to Chattanooga to enjoy the wonderment and majesty of the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum?—Talk about “wrecking” a vacation!
I was inspired to seek out more “Halls of Fame” across the country. I know it’s late in the summer at this point, but here’s a unique list of ten places that you may (or may not) have interest in making a pilgrimage to in the future:
*The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame (Arlington, Texas)
*National Inventors Hall of Fame (Alexandria, Virginia)
*Freshwater Fish Hall of Fame (Hayward, Wisconsin)
*Pinball Hall of Fame (Las Vegas, Nevada)
*National Mining Hall of Fame (Leadville, Colorado)
*Robot Hall of Fame (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
*The Burlesque Hall of Fame (Las Vegas, Nevada)
*National Barber Museum and Hall of Fame (Canal Winchester, Ohio)
*National Toy Hall of Fame (Rochester, New York)
No offense to the others, but I’d really consider making a trip to see the Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester. I’m suddenly reminded that I had a “poor man’s version” of this repository in my childhood home basement. It came to light back in 2004 as my brothers and I were tasked in clearing out said house after the death of our father.
The shelves of our unfinished basement were still filled with the likes of old board games (eg. Monopoly, Chutes and Ladders, Battleship, Candyland, Stratego), novelty lunchboxes, Matchbox and Hot Wheels Cars and track, GI Joe dolls, Fisher Price playsets, Tonka Trucks, Evel Knievel stunt sets, HO gauge trains and electric slot cars set-ups, Wacky Packages Trading Cards/stickers, Rock’em Sock’em Robots, Star Wars figures, and the first handheld electronic gadgets such as Mattel Electronic Football and early video game consoles such as Intellivision and Colecovision.
As a final note, I don’t mean to brag, but I had two vibrating, electronic football boards and all 28 NFL teams from my youth. Yes, those were the little plastic figurines that moved thanks to a vibrating tin field beneath their bases, and it was a regular occurrence to see guys going in circles or figure 8’s while the linebackers seemed to be doing more square-dancing than “tackling” ballcarriers. The most memorable part of the experience was the ear piercing buzz and hum. Hey, “It was what it was”—a far cry from the realistic quality of today’s Madden NFL video game series my boys grew up playing.
Back in 2017, we launched the Preservation and Enhancement Fund of Mount Olivet Cemetery, a 501 © (3) nonprofit entity with a goal of showcasing and securing our amazing cultural landscape which is a unique blend of nature, art, architecture and the human condition. With the assistance of cemetery staff and our Friends of Mount Olivet membership group (begun in Spring, 2020), our mission is to preserve our historic records, on premises house and chapel structures and, most noticeably, thousands of vintage gravestones and monuments.
Our hope is to educate visitors and Frederick residents alike by sharing the fascinating background of Mount Olivet and those who reside in it, numbering over 40,000. The “Friends” group is active in related activities designed to generate enthusiasm in not only history research and gravestone preservation, but continued fundraising and spreading community awareness of our special place through engaging and entertaining educational programs, special events and anniversary commemorations.
Along those lines, I thought about forming a Hall of Fame—a Mount Olivet Hall of Fame. As the definition at the onset specifically mentions that Hall of Fames consist of a collection of memorials to famous or illustrious individuals, its easy to see that we are already there “so to speak” as our grounds boast memorials to the over 40,000 already buried here. I’ve appropriately touted this place as a “museum without walls” and this definitely drives home my point.
In talking with colleagues and other members of our Friends group, we found it best to frame the new “Hall” on the monuments, themselves, and not specifically on the person (s) buried beneath. The cover photo for this story at the top is from The Hall of Fame for Great Americans, an outdoor sculpture gallery located on the grounds of Bronx Community College in the Bronx, New York City. Completed in 1900, It is the first such hall of fame in the United States and part of the University Heights campus of New York University. Designed by the famed architect Stanford White, a 630-foot stone colonnade half-encircles the university library and houses 98 bronze portrait busts of a number of prominent Americans.
Interestingly, the photo at the onset of this story captures inductee and inventor Alexander Graham Bell, he of telephone fame and fortune. Mr. Bell and his wife, Mabel (the original “Ma Bell”), actually visited Frederick in April, 1915. While here, they visited Mount Olivet and we know they specifically paid homage to Francis Scott Key and Barbara Fritchie at their respective gravesites.
So back to our, new Hall of Fame, it is the above-ground masterpiece of art and craftmanship that provides the criteria for consideration, nomination and election to the newly launched “Mount Olivet Monument Hall of Fame.” The “structure” and memorials are already in place, some have been for well over a century and a half. A new component will soon appear in the form of a virtual gallery on the MountOlivetHistory.com site.
The inaugural class of recipients was announced, by way of a walking tour, at our first annual Friends of Mount Olivet picnic held on August 21st, 2021. A nominating committee within of Friends Group will handle the honors in future years, however, we thought it would be fitting for the first group of inductees to our “Hall of Fame” be chosen by an individual who has the unique distinction of having spent more time within Mount Olivet alive than any other human being in history. This would be John Ronald “Ron” Pearcey, our Superintendent. Ron originally came to work here in 1966, and he revels in telling visitors that he prides himself on waking up in a cemetery each and every day.
So, with no further ado, I present to you, the reader, the inaugural class of 2021 for the Mount Olivet Monument Hall of Fame.
Francis Scott Key Monument
Location: Star-Spangled Plaza
Date of Placement: August, 1898
Decedents: Francis Scott Key and Mary Tayloe (Lloyd) Key
In mid-August 1898, this monument was unveiled amidst great fanfare. It took over three decades of fundraising, but the achievement would be heralded in newspapers across the country. This would serve as Francis Scott Key’s third, and (hopefully) final resting place as the “Star-Spangled Banner” author and his wife Mary are encased in a vault built underneath the monument.
The New York City studio of Alexander Doyle received the contract to create this lasting memorial to the Frederick native, and a young, Italian immigrant named Pompeo Coppini would be charged with sculpting the figures of Key, and three other allegorical figures consisting of Columbia (signifying patriotism) and two boys (representing music and war). Most interesting is the fact that the sculptor was given the job of artistically styling all four stanzas of Key’s song on a bronze tablet located at the rear of the monument. For many years, this was one of the only locations where the US flag was allowed to fly 24/7.
The granite pedestal is comprised of several pieces of granite and stands 18-foot tall. The Key statuette stands 12-foot tall and depicts Francis gesturing toward the US flag as he did at the Battle of Fort McHenry in September, 1814.
Barbara Fritchie Monument
Location: Area MM/Lot 00
Date of Placement: September, 1914
Decedents: Barbara Fritchie and John Casper Fritchie
The second most famous person in Mount Olivet was removed here just like Francis Scott Key. This, of course, is our Civil War heroine, Barbara Fritchie. It is interesting to note that both of these individuals, Frederick’s most famous, became household names because of a song/poem about the US flag under attack by an enemy during wartime.
This monument was erected in 1914, after the star of John Greenleaf Whittier’s poem and her husband (John) were relocated here the previous year from their original grave plot in Frederick’s German Reformed Graveyard, a location now known as Memorial Park. The 12-foot tall obelisk is extremely modest and scaled down in comparison to an earlier proposed memorial to be placed at the location in downtown Frederick where the fountain now stands at the intersection of Seventh and Market streets. Bronze pieces are affixed to this large granite shaft, each sculpted by Artist James E. Kelly (1833-1855). These include a profile view of Barbara in the form of a large medallion, along with Whittier’s 1863 poem in its entirety for visitors to read.
Gov. Thomas Johnson, Jr. Memorial
Location: Area MM/Lot 38
Date of Placement: 1914
Decedents: Gov. Thomas Johnson, Jr.
Most gravestones simply include a decedent’s name and vital dates separated by a dash. Unlike the bronze adorations found interspersed with granite for the Key and Fritchie graves, Governor Thomas Johnson’s white marble gravestone boasts a pretty impressive resume ranging from his participation in the Continental Congress and leading troops in the American Revolution to becoming Maryland’s first elected governor and serving as one of the country’s first supreme court justices.
Johnson was originally buried in an underground family crypt within Frederick’s All Saints graveyard, once located on the south side of Carroll Creek atop a hill that stands north of East All Saints’ Street. The church sold the graveyard property in 1913, at which time over 300 individual’s remains were removed here to Mount Olivet. Most were reinterred within church purchased lots in Area MM.
Sponsored by the Frederick Daughters of the American Revolution, an earlier marker for Thomas Johnson, Jr. accompanied his body here, and is placed in front of the larger memorial created and placed here after his re-interment.
The "First" Monument
Location: Area F/Lot 12
Date of Placement: May, 1854
Decedents: Mary Louisa and Catharine Elizabeth Norris
The history books are a commonly filled with “firsts.” Here at Mount Olivet, research back in the year 2016 helped with the discovery of the first grave monument placed on our grounds. Interestingly, this monument had no connection to our much ballyhooed, "first burial" of Mrs. Ann Crawford in late May, 1854. A beautiful, twin-columned monument of Parian marble had been erected in place earlier that month of May (1854) awaiting its recipients.
The first monument in Mount Olivet was a lasting gift from grieving parents who once operated a grocery store in the first block of West Patrick Street. Basil and Jane Norris felt that the new, garden cemetery on the southern approach of town would be a more fitting resting place for two young daughters who had died earlier in the decade. Seventeen year-old Mary Louisa Norris and sister Catherine Elizabeth Norris (aged 23) would both die in 1851, and were originally buried in Frederick’s All Saints’ graveyard. They would be re-interred in Mount Olivet’s Area F on June 21st, 1854.
The Clarke Obelisk
Location: Area H/Lot 19
Date of Placement: 1902
Decedents: Gen. James C. Clarke, Susan Clarke and sons Horace W. Clarke, Wendall B. Clarke and daughter Sarah L. Gunn
The obelisk is a famous design dating back to ancient times, and beckons many to recall their first sight of the famed Washington monument in the nation’s capital. A tall, 25-foot, four-sided narrow tapering monument of this style can be seen occupying it’s own little island (Area H/Lot 19) just outside the Key Chapel near the front of the cemetery. This marks the gravesite of Gen. James C. Clarke (1824-1902) and family.
An American transportation pioneer, Clarke headed railroad companies during the early heydays of the industry. His employers included the Baltimore & Ohio, the North Central, Erie, Illinois Central and Mobile & Ohio. He also served as president of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal from 1870 to 1872. Nearby, Clarke Place, a block north of our front gate, is named in his honor.
"Ordeman's Anchor" Monument
Location: Area A/Lot 120
Date of Placement: after 1889
Decedents: Capt. H. D. Ordeman, Catherine Ordeman, et al.
When spotting an anchor in a cemetery, don’t assume the person occupying the grave was simply a mariner, fisherman or Navy veteran. The anchor, because of the great importance in navigation, was regarded in ancient times as a symbol of safety. Christians adopted the anchor as a symbol of hope in future existence, and gave a new and higher significance to a familiar emblem. However, in this particular case, the former assumption would be correct after all because this is the final resting place of Herman Dietrich Ordeman, a sea captain from Bremen, Germany born in 1812.
Capt. Ordeman made regular trips piloting boats from his native home to United States for decades. He had made his American home in Baltimore. Upon retirement in 1856, he removed to Frederick and resided in the area of Park Mills (southeast of Frederick City). His beautiful monument is adorned with the pre-mentioned anchor, but also includes an incredible etching atop its granite face featuring a facsimile of his trusted sailing vessel, the Aleyandria. Ordeman died in 1884. and it is thought the monument was placed after the death of the seaman's wife, Catherine who died in 1889.
Williams "Mourning Woman" Monument
Location: Area R/Lot 103-106
Date of Placement: c. 1892
Decedents: John H. and Eleanor (Shriver) Williams, son Henry D. Williams and wife Henrietta (Stokes), daughter Margaret Janet Williams
Ron Pearcey says his "sentimental favorite" when it comes to Mount Olivet's monuments is located in Area R, along the central drive of the cemetery. This family plot includes a picturesque entrance with stairs and flanked by flower planters. The monument is set within the center of four burial lots (103-106) belonging to the family of John H. Williams.
Mr. Williams (1814-1896) was a banker and his family home is the same that today houses Federated Charities as it was bequeathed by the family for that purpose. You may better know the location by the iron dog named “Charity” that adorns the front porch. Mr. Williams' wife, Eleanor Shriver(1814-1892), and two of his children reside in this plot,along with a daughter-in-law.
The central monument takes the form of a sarcophagus topped with a bowed woman in mourning on one knee. She has her head in her left hand, while her right hand is clutching a wreath. Adorned in ancient Greek attire, the female included as part of this monument is a commonly found example of cemetery iconography. In Victorian era times, women were often portrayed as the mourners of the human race, the ones expected, and allowed, to express emotions. It is their presence in the cemetery that connotes sorrow and grief at the loss of a loved one. Meanwhile, the laurel wreath dates back to Roman times when soldiers wore them as triumphal signs of glory. The laurel was also believed to wash away the soldier’s guilt from injuring or killing any of his opponents. In funerary art the laurel wreath is often seen as a symbol of victory over death.
According to the website Gravelyspeaking.com, a description is given for a like version of this same monument design within a cemetery in Georgia. It too, features a mourning woman, clutching a laurel wreath. Apparently the "mourning figure" represents Niobe, the Greek mythological Queen of Thebes.
“Niobe had fourteen children (the Niobids) and taunted Leto, who only had two children, Apollo and Artemis. In his rage he sent his two children to avenge the slight done to him by Niobe striking out at what was most dear to her. Niobe, became the symbol of mourning when Apollo slaughtered her seven sons and Artemis killed her seven daughters. As one version of the story goes, upon seeing his dead fourteen children, Amphion, the King of Thebes, committed suicide. Niobe was so stricken with grief that she fled to Mount Siplyus, Manisa, Turkey, where she turned to stone. Her grief was so powerful that tears flowed ceaselessly from her forming the River Acheloos.”
I was hoping to find a direct correlation as to the Williams choice of this funerary character, thinking perhaps the parents lost a child (or children) at a young age, or that they simply predeceased them. That wasn’t the case as son Henry died at 80 in 1918, and daughter Margaret Janet Williams died at age 77 in 1922.
So there you have it, the inaugural Class of 2021 of the newly launched Mount Olivet Monument Hall of Fame. Please consider joining our Friends of Mount Olivet membership group and you too can help pick next years monument inductees, while helping to preserve and interpret these special stones into perpetuity.
The sizeable, granite grave monument of Jacob S. Perry and his wife, Martha, is sure to catch the eye of the beholder in Mount Olivet’s Area R, located not far from the graves of Barbara Fritchie and Gov. Thomas Johnson, Jr. The funerary structure is topped with a sculptured granite urn, covered by what is known as a “shroud of grief."
I have prior knowledge regarding the symbolism here, but I consulted a website entitled headstonesymbols.co.uk and found the following passage under a heading entitled Drapery and Urns within a section: Headstone Symbols and Meanings:
Drapery seen on headstones usually depicts the veil between life and death and the crossing of that plane and to others it can symbolise God’s protection until Resurrection.
Before hearses became common, during the deceased’s journey from their home to the church their coffin was draped in a black cloth, sometimes decorated with memento mori or crosses. This was the pall. It was held at each corner by a pallbearer, while the coffin itself was supported by underbearers. Drapery remained a favourite symbol of the Victorians and is often seen covering urns.
In the Victorian era the urn became a symbol of death and the return of the physical body to dust while the soul was everlasting. The urn’s history started in Pagan religions that carried out cremation. The ashes of the deceased where commonly collected and buried in an old or roughly made cooking pot. As these civilizations grew the containers became more elaborate. The urns we see today on grave monuments are often stylised on ancient Roman and Greek containers for ashes.
Early Christian funerals were seen as a symbol of the burial and resurrection of Christ and cremation was seen as a pagan practice, and this view was not changed until the late 19th century. As the population increased in major cities, cemeteries became overcrowded and unhygienic conditions arose with burials only just below the surface. A solution was needed, and with changes in attitude and advances in technology, cremation was seen as a solution to the problem. The ashes where again collected in urns and placed in a cemetery columbarium, a building containing niches in the wall to hold the urns.
The symbolism and iconography seem quite appropriate for this particular grave, as I found that the original lot owner, (the forementioned Jacob S. Perry), worked as an undertaker as his life’s profession. He was based in the area of Walkersville and Woodsboro northeast of Frederick. He would also conduct services as Thurmont as well.
Mr. Perry led a pretty straightforward life as I didn’t find a great deal about him in the history books and newspapers. He was born on May 8th, 1827 in Leitersburg, Maryland, located northeast of Hagerstown. His parents were Jacob Perry, Sr. (1802-1880) and Mary Stokes (1789-1870). He was living with a wheelright named Solomon Conaway and working as a carpenter in Woodsboro by the time of the 1850 census.
Jacob married Martha Ann Geasey five years later (1855) on Christmas Day. The Perrys would make their home in Walkersville (northeast of Frederick City) and have nine children as I could find, starting with Ida Maria Perry in 1856. A second daughter would be born in October 1858, Florentine "Flora" Amelia Perry. A son named Washington Everett was born in 1860, but sadly both daughters would die within three weeks of each other in late March-April, 1862.
I found the draft registration for our subject in connection with the American Civil War. I did not see that he actually served for either army during this turbulent period, but he did father another child as James Pleasonton Perry was born in April 1863. Residing in Walkersville, I’m sure Jacob watched along with his neighbors, the Union Army, under new general, George M. Meade as they headed north through town en-route to Gettysburg in early summer.
An old newspaper featured an annual accounting of the Frederick County Government, and Jacob S. Perry is listed as having built coffins for the town of Thurmont.
His connection to Thurmont likely stemmed from this locale serving home to his parents. To be exact, an obituary in 1872 for Jacob Perry, Sr. (our subject's father) claimed that the former Middletown native had died in Franklinville just north of Thurmont, then known as Mechanicstown. This is the area where you could find two outstanding commercial landmarks along today’s US15—Catoctin Mountain Orchard and the recently-closed Shamrock Restaurant.
Another aside involving Jacob, Jr. comes from Jacob Engelbrecht who wrote that Jacob Perry (Sr.) was appointed keeper of the Frederick Almshouse in February, 1852, but declined the position, allowing Mr. William T. Duvall to take the post. This same Mr. Duvall would leave the Almshouse two years later to become the first superintendent of Mount Olivet Cemetery.
Three more children would be born to Jacob S. Perry and Martha before the end of the decade. These included Katherine Idaho Perry (b. July, 1865), John Jacob Perry (b. September, 1867), and William KIracofe Perry (b. September, 1869).
The 1870 census shows the Perry family living in Mount Pleasant. This would be the residence in which two more children were added to the family, Matilda Lorena Perry (1872-1957) and Harry Perry. The latter died as an infant, surviving only two days, passing on May 21st, 1876.
For the next 30 years, the Perrys continued living in Walkersville and I found that they lived in a six-room, frame house on the corner of West Frederick Street and Maple Avenue. I'm sure the builder was our subject.
Jacob took part in the nearby community through his work and involvement with the United Brethren Church. I was happy to find some related clippings in the newspapers that made mention to Mr. Perry and these business and church activities. I’m sure he would consider his greatest accomplishment the fact that he and wife Martha raised six children into adulthood. A 1910 article captured the occasion of Jacob’s 83rd birthday. The paper added the superlative that Jacob and Martha were the oldest couple in town.
The twosome would celebrate a few more birthdays and anniversaries before Jacob’s death on June 21st, 1914. He died at the home of his daughter, Katherine Long, in Walkersville. He was 87 years old.
It is not known whether or not Jacob crafted his own coffin, but the undertaking was performed by Thomas P. Rice, a leading man of the trade during that time. He would be laid to rest in Mount Olivet on June 23rd, 1914. His predeceased children had been removed to Mount Olivet in April of 1908. This included Ida, Florentine and Harry.
I’d like to assume that the tradition of draping Mr. Perry’s coffin with black cloth actually happened. As he performed this practice for so many that he delivered to their final resting places, hopefully the same was done for him. His pall bearers consisted of sons and grandsons.
Just sixteen months later, Martha would join her husband in Mount Olivet.
Jacob’s son William K. Perry would be buried here in 1946, and daughter Matilda “Mattie” Gregory just over a decade later in 1957. Their spouses and a few of their children are today also part of the Perry lot in Area R.
“Westward ho—Today at 11 o’clock AM Messrs William Dean & family, Lewis Stein wife & 3 children, & also Mrs. Henry Sinn (going as far as Vincennes Indiana) left in the cars for Saint Joseph Missouri. Mr. Dean has a son there (W. H. Houston Dean) & Mr. Stein has two brothers-in-law (J. H. Dean & Philip Buddy) there already. May success attend them.”
Tuesday, April 5, 1870 111/4 o’clock AM
This colorful passage was taken from the diary of Frederick tailor Jacob Engelbrecht (1797-1878). The mention of the Dean family’s move to Missouri in 1870 is an interesting one as it would have a direct effect on Mount Olivet. Although we lost a few future inhabitants to Missouri, we gained an impressive grave monument adorned with an anchor—but not the first in this part of the cemetery. (See our earlier story on Captain Herman Ordeman from August, 2018).
I'd like to begin by sharing some backstory on the Dean family. The Deans hailed from the New Market area, and brothers William and John can be found living next to each other on neighboring farms. This is reflected in the 1850 census as they are enumerated in descending order.
The son of the above-mentioned 1870 traveling patriarch (William Dean aka William Dean 2nd) of the Dean family mentioned above was a gentleman by the name of William H. R. Dean (b. August 28th, 1838). The younger William had bought lot #74 in Area A in 1862 upon the occasion of the death of his wife, Ann Louisa (Gallion) Dean. Sadly, the newlywed Mrs. Dean was only 24 at the time of her passing.
I found Ann Louisa’s parents (John Presbury Gallion and wife Mary Elizabeth Brown Gallion) in another part of the cemetery, Area P (Lot 29) only yards from William H. R.'s uncle (John Dean Jr.) and family in Area P/Lot 74. I was curious why she was not buried in a family lot with them as usually happened in situations like this.
The 1850 census shown earlier shows William Dean’s wife, Catharine Barrick (b. 1814), and three sons on the family farm in New Market. They would relocate to Frederick by 1860 and took up residence on East Third Street near the location of Chapel Alley.
I soon became enthralled with the professional careers and achievements of all three of these Dean children. By 1860, oldest son William H. R. and his father were running a dry goods store in Frederick. Their quirky advertisements filled the local newspapers of the decade as their business had an original location at North Market and Third streets. By 1866, it had moved to the corner of East Patrick and Carroll streets.
1862 was a bittersweet year for William H. R. Dean. This is when the young man would marry Miss Gallion. Unfortunately, the couple would only have nine months of wedded bliss together.
As mentioned earlier, Ann Louisa’s body was laid to rest in the William H. R. Dean lot on the day after Christmas, 1862. It would be quite a while before another family member would join her in this once shaded parcel near the front of the cemetery.
I stumbled upon another interesting burial tidbit from our friend Jacob Engelbrecht around this same period, just a few months after the Confederate Army under Gen. Lee visited Frederick in September, 1862, followed by the nearby battles of South Mountain and Antietam that same month. Engelbrecht stated in early January, 1862 that the whole number of Civil War soldiers that had been interred since the previous August was 767, of whom 579 were Union and 188 were “captured Rebel prisoners,” his words, not mine. Interestingly, many of those Union soldiers counted by Engelbrecht in this inventory would be re-interred and buried elsewhere back in soldiers' hometowns and in Antietam National Cemetery in Sharpsburg. Ironically, the lot holder’s brother, George, narrowly escaped death during military service in the Great Rebellion, as he could have added to the tally and joined Ann Louisa Dean during those war years. It would be this gentleman George A. Dean) who would assume this burial plot after the rest of his Dean family moved west.
Thirty-nine years later, in 1901, Emma V. (Gorton) Dean would be buried in the Dean lot on Area A with Ann Louisa. These two women were sisters-in-law, albeit brief if at all. That calls for some family identification of the William Dean family. I will tell you that not all the Deans went west. The whole move was precipitated in theory by Ann Louisa’s death you could say. Her widowed husband, William H. R. Dean would move to Missouri in 1869. Of course this is who Engelbrecht referred to in his diary entry to kickoff this story.
William H. R. had married again, Miss Elizabeth C. Stein (b. November 30th, 1841) in 1864, which eventually influenced her brother (Lewis Stein) to make the trip to Missouri with his brother-in-law’s family in 1870. Emma V. Gorton was the wife of George Albert Dean (b. January 27th, 1841). William Dean Sr.'s second son. Emma's obituary says little of her life deeds, but paints quite a picture of her husband’s life’s work.
As you can see, George A. Dean stayed here in Maryland instead of moving to Missouri. Actually, truth be told, he headed east to Baltimore, but came back to live his final years here in Frederick on Rockwell Terrace. His life story is brilliantly told in TJC Williams and Folger McKinsey’s History of Frederick County, published in 1910:
"George A. Dean, a well-known resident of Frederick City, Frederick County, Md., was born on a farm in New Market District, Frederick County, January 27, 1841. He is the son of William and Catherine (Barrick) Dean.
The Dean family is of English lineage, and emigrated to the colonies prior to the American revolution. Robert Dean, the great-grandfather of George A. Dean, was married to Elizabeth Reynolds, a sister of Hugh Reynolds. They were the parents of William Dean 1st.
William Dean 1st, son of Robert and Elizabeth (Reynolds) Dean, was married to Alice Reynolds, daughter of Hugh and Alice (Flemming) Reynolds. They were the parents of William Dean 2nd. Mrs. William Dean’s father, Hugh Reynold’s, was a native of County Tyrone, Ireland. In company with his three brothers, William, James and John, he came to America about 1769. He had also two sisters one of whom, Elizabeth, married the Robert Dean mentioned above. Hugh Reynolds was married in 1780, to Alice Flemming, who was born in 1761, being seven years younger than Mr. Reynolds. They were the parents of the following children: 1. William, born in 1781; 2. Eleanor, born in 1782; 3. Margaret, born in 1784; 4. John, born in 1786; 5. Samuel, born in 1788; 6. Alice, born in 1790, married William Dean 1st; 7. Elizabeth, born in 1791; 8. Ann, born in 1792; 9. Lillie, born in 1794; 10. Jane, born in 1796; 11. Malinda, born in 1798; 12. Maria, born in 1800; 13. Sarah, born in 1802.
William Dean 2nd, son of William and Alice (Reynolds) Dean, was born near Frederick City, in 1810, and died in 1886. He was a tanner by trade, but in later life, followed agricultural pursuits. In his political views, he was, in early life, an Old-Line Whig but he afterwards adhered to the Republican party. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, and filled the offices of elder and of deacon. William Dean 2nd was married to Catharine Barrick, daughter of George Barrick, of Frederick County, who served, in 1812-1814, in the second war against Great Britain. They were the parents of three children: William H. R., was born in Frederick County, MD., in 1838; left Frederick in 1869 for the then Western country. He first settled in Missouri (St. Joseph), changing to Nebraska; thence to the State of Iowa, in which he died, 1907. He was engaged in mercantile pursuits. George A., of whom presently. James H. left his native place, Frederick, Md., in 1883; serving in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, in various capacities, twenty-one years; finally resigning as President and General Manager of the Park Hotels Company, (1904), of which he was one of the organizers. He was associated with the Company about seventeen years; was born in 1843, and is now living in Southern California.
George A. Dean, son of William and Catharine (Barrick) Dean, was brought up in Frederick County and received his education in the public schools of the county, and in Frederick College. He afterwards went to Piedmont, W. Va., where he learned the trade of machinist. During the four years of the Civil War, Mr. Dean served as assistant engineer U.S. Navy on various vessels. He was wounded by a piece of shell while on board his vessel in an engagement at Plymouth, N.C., in 1864. At this time, April 16, 1864, he was made a prisoner of war and was confined in various prisons. He was at Plymouth, N.C.; Raleigh, N.C.; Columbia, S.C.; Macon, Ga.; Charleston, S.C.; and Libby prison, in Richmond, Va., from which place he was exchanged in November, 1864. He has been greatly disabled by the wound which he received in 1864, and by other infirmities caused by exposure and confinement.
After the close of the war, Mr. Dean returned to Baltimore, and within a short time became an engineer in the merchant marine service. He was first employed by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad ships, running from Baltimore, Md., to Liverpool, England. His next employers were the Charleston Steamship Company. In 1869, he entered the service of the Merchants and Miners’ Steamship Company, with which concern he remained until 1894. During the years from 1869 to 1883, he was chief engineer on various vessels of said company. From 1882 to 1894, he was superintendent of ships and machinery and, in the meantime, constructed several vessels for the company. Since 1894, Mr. Dean has been living retired in Frederick County and City. He is held in high esteem in the community in which he resides.
Mr. Dean is interested in various enterprises in Frederick County, and holds directorships in several concerns. He acts in this capacity in the Fredericktown Savings Institution; in the Frederick and Emmitsburg Turnpike Company; and in the Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Frederick County. Politically, Mr. Dean is a stanch Republican. In 1897, he was nominated and elected by his party to the office of commissioner of Frederick County. He served for a term of four years, and made a creditable record in that official position. He is a member of Columbia Lodge, No. 58, A. F. and A. Mm.; and of Enoch Royal Arch Chapter, No. 23, of Frederick City. In religion, he holds his membership in the Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, where he served as trustee.
George A. Dean was married, in 1864, to Emma V. Gorton, of Baltimore. They were the parents of five children, four of whom grew up. 1. William G., resides in Baltimore; 2. Marian (Mrs. Frank N. Mainhart) of New York City, NY; 3. Bella G., the wife of George T. Ness, of Baltimore, Md.; 4. George A., also of Baltimore. Mrs. Dean died in 1901. In 1905, Mr. Dean was married to Alice R. Dean, of Frederick County, a daughter of the late John A. and Mary A. (Mainhart) Dean. They have three children: Catharine Reynolds, James Hamner, and Margaret Barrick Dean."
George Dean was active in buying and selling real estate and moved around a bit once back in Frederick. My assistant Marilyn Veek found that George A. Dean didn't buy property in Frederick until he moved here in 1894 from Baltimore. From 1893-1898 he owned a 20 acre farm described as fronting on the turnpike road from Frederick to Ceresville Bridge, that also abutted the road leading from Frederick to the Fulling mill (not otherwise identified). From 1898-1899 he owned a 110 acre farm which was north of Richfield along Rt. 15 (this is the property that was "near Harmony Grove"), and likely the locale George's brother James came back to live temporarily. From 1900 to 1902, George owned a property at 17 E. Third St.
From 1904 to 1906 he owned property on the north side of East Second St (now part of 115 E 2nd) and across from St. John's Church on the "old Novitiate lot" as the article above mentions. In 1908, he bought a house at 121 W. Third St. that he sold in 1914 when he moved to Rockwell Terrace.
George A. Dean would live another 12 years after the William' biography was published. Alice (b. 1880) was 39 years his younger and in peak child-bearing condition. You can assume that having three child born to a man in his mid to late sixties is not just an amazing accomplishment, but also could have added a strain to a life riddled with business/civic responsibility and physical debility.
George A. Dean would pass away on September 11th, 1922. Thank goodness he didn't move west, as his impact on his home town and county was pretty impressive as can be attested to by reading his obituary.
George A Dean's monument includes an anchor which pays homage to his former naval service and career in the shipping industry. It also symbolizes hope for eternal salvation according to funerary inconography meanings associated with this symbol. I like to think that it also represents the fact that his legacy is "anchored" here in Frederick, as the rest of his family moved westward.
One interesting point to make on the monument. In our collection here at the cemetery, we have an old photograph of Mount Olivet's Area A, taken around 1909-1910. Interestingly, the large Dean monument with the anchor is visible in the shot. This means that Mr. Dean erected this monument at least 12 years before his death in 1922. I theorize that this was likely done at the time of Emma's death in 1901.
George’s second wife, Alice, would join him here upon her death in 1953. Son James Hamner Dean and his wife, Malinda Louise (Horine) Dean would buried in the lot in the early 1970s, and their son, John Horine Dean would be buried here in 1997.
William and William H. R. Dean
As for the pioneering Deans that headed west, George’s father William Dean made it to Missouri with Catharine. They appear in the 1870 census living with son William H. R. and his young family in Watson, NIshnebotna Township, Atcheson County, Missouri. The gentlemen appear to have revived their dry goods business.
The family moved to Lewis Township in Holt County, Missouri and this is where they can be found in 1880. William (2nd) died in 1886 and one can find his gravesite, along with that of wife Catharine in High Creek Cemetery, Rock Port, in Atchison County, Missouri.
As said in the George’s biography from 1910, William H. R. died in Iowa in the year 1907. His death and funeral on November 15th made front page news in his newfound home far from Frederick, Maryland. He and wife Elizabeth are buried in his father’s plot at Rock Port, Missouri.
James H. Dean
The last of this immediate family to cover is James H. Dean. This man of familiar name was not a “Rebel Without a Cause” or a country-western musician turned into a sausage salesman. James Dean was one of the early assistant superintendents of Yellowstone Park as mentioned earlier.
James H. Dean was born around 1844 in New Market. His future wife, Rebecca T. Pickings, was born in Maryland around 1845. Dean moved with his family into Frederick and went to work as a steward at the Maryland School for the Deaf. The school had just opened the previous year and served about 60 students, 25 of them that had never received any formal schooling. The school taught sign language, the finger alphabet, writing, speech, lip reading, along with vocational skills such as shoemaking, carpentry, printing, dressmaking, sewing, and housework. He held that position until 1877.
At that time, he went to work for a hotel and restaurant called the Old Dill House on the northeast corner of West Church and Court streets. I wrote extensively about this location in a former story in April 2020. By 1879 the hotel became known as the Carlin House, after proprietor Frank B. Carlin, and finally the Park Hotel. James and Rebecca can be found residing here in the 1880 US Census as he held the position of hotel manager. (As an aside, I found James' brother, George, living here in the 1900 census.)
In 1883, James H. Dean traveled to Yellowstone with Rebecca to work as an assistant superintendent. He would serve under Superintendent Patrick H. Conger in 1883 until early summer of 1885. He spent the summer of 1884 with his family at Norris in a small house built for them by the federal government. However it was unsuitable to withstand the cold, harsh winters and they moved to Mammoth to live that winter. He became clerk at the Firehole Hotel in 1885, serving there for several years.
In 1888 he was hired to manage the Cottage Hotel at Mammoth, the year before the G. L. Henderson family sold the operation to the Yellowstone Park Association. Dean managed the National Hotel in 1891 and was appointed Superintendent of YPA in 1892, having supervision of all the park hotels. His office was located in the National Hotel. He served as president of the Yellowstone National Park Association from 1896 (or 1898) until 1901, when Harry Child, Edmund Bach and Silas Huntley bought out the company.
Around 1902, he resigned from the company and came back to Frederick to live with a nephew Mr. Charles Pickings near Harmony Grove, north of town where Clemson Corner is today. By 1910, James and Rebecca had moved to California and were living in Coronado Beach, near San Diego. James died October 17th, 1919 in Coronado Beach after being in ill health and suffering a stroke the previous year. He was about 75 years of age. His mortal remains are at the Cypress Hill Mausoleum and Chapel in San Diego.
James H. Dean's address in 1910 was 942 D Street which is denoted by the arrow. Although a newly constructed villa sits here today, this must have been a beautiful retirement location in paradise for James H Dean and his wife, Rebecca which was just a few blocks from the Pacific and the famed Coronado Hotel which appears to the upper left of this photo
I was interested in finding many newspaper clippings in the early 1910s that reported George visiting his brother (James) in California and practically spending his winters there. You could say that the family member that stayed behind back in 1870, eventually did "go west," even if it was just seasonally.
George A. Dean's eye-catching monument in Mount Olivet's Area A serves not only as a testament to his life and accomplishments, but also as a lasting reminder of those immediate family members who took their dreams west to places such as Missouri, Wyoming and California.
The word “orphan” is a multi-faceted one that can be used as a noun, verb and adjective. Of course, the noun version is most common and defined in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary as “a child deprived by death of one or usually both parents, a young animal that has lost its mother, or one deprived of some protection or advantage.”
When it comes to cemeteries, orphans are an obvious result of the death of both parents, being cut down in the prime of life. In some cases, the “orphaning” is the result of one parent dying, and the widowed parent not being capable to raise a child (or children) on their own. Then there are those cases that were not talked about, wherein a child may have been born out of wedlock. Although the older concept of orphans seems to be a thing of the past, thanks to advances in medicine/healthcare (keeping parents healthier), and the practice of adoption becoming more accepted over the last century.
I see this situation of “orphaned” children often in my geology and historical research endeavors. Even in my own family, I had a great-grandmother (on my father’s side) who lost both parents to illness as a young teen, thus causing her and siblings to be raised by her grandmother. On the other side of the family, my mother’s mother (grandmother) lost both parents by age six. She almost went into an orphanage, a residential institution for the care and education of orphans. Thankfully, her oldest sister turned 18 days before a court ruling which resulted in permission given to said older sister to be recognized as her legal guardian.
Many children were not as lucky as those family members I just mentioned of mine. We had orphanages here in Frederick, two of note included the Loats Orphan Asylum (1879-1956), once housed in the Baltzell home on East Church Street. This building has served as home to the Frederick Historical Society/Heritage Frederick for decades since the old orphanage was closed. Immediately next door, an earlier established orphanage once existed across the alley under the purview of the local Protestant Episcopal church here in town. Mount Olivet has a lasting reminder of that benevolent institution.
To find it, you have to make your way to a section within Area G that is enclosed with an iron fence—what I guess you could call our only “gated community” within Mount Olivet. Known commonly as the Potts lot, this is the site of the final resting places of several members of prominent past families including the namesake Potts, Murdochs, Marshalls, Ross’ and Francis Scott Key’s parents.
On the north side of this large burial lot are two additional lots enclosed by ancient iron fencing. One lot (G 59) encloses the grave of an 1812 veteran named Daniel Hughes (1774-1854) who had married into the Potts family. The other (G58), located directly behind the Hughes lot, was once owned by the Episcopal Female Orphan Asylum of Frederick. Today it is owned by the All Saints’ Protestant Episcopal Church. It was established for the burial of orphans in conjunction with the church’s former Orphan House on East Church Street.
The Orphan House and Episcopal Free School Society of All Saints’ Church
There are two prime sources for information on the All Saints' Orphanage. One was a small pamphlet written by Eleanor Murdoch Johnson (1860-1945). Miss Johnson was a devout member of All Saints' and a longtime member of the board of managers for the Episcopal Orphanage. In 1915, she published her work: A History of the Orphan House and Episcopal Free School Society of the All Saints' Church FrederickTown, Maryland 1838-1915. The daughter of John Ross Johnson and Maria Louisa Ann Hammond died at age 84 and is buried about 25 yards from the Orphanage Lot in Area E/Lot 62.
Another source of information comes from the History of All Saints Parish (Frederick County, Maryland), a book researched and written by Ernest Helfenstein with help from two of my friends among others, the Carroll H. Hendrickson and C. Lynne Price. The following passage comes from this work published in 1991.
As early as 1833 the lot on which the present orphanage stands was occupied by a small building in which was conducted the “school of Industry,” a fee school. As the attendance of this school increased from eight to thirty-two scholars the idea of an Orphan Home and School developed in the minds of the ladies of the congregation and by a series of “Fairs” a fund for the erection of a suitable building was started. In March, 1838, an Act of Incorporation was passed by the Maryland Legislature and the building was erected in 1839 by George Cole. This was made possible largely through the generosity of Mrs. Eleanor Potts who conveyed the lot upon which the Orphan House now stands to the trustees, the lot having been purchased by her for one thousand dollars from the “Vestry and Council of the Lutheran Church, Fredericktown.”
Daniel Hughes’ wife, Elizabeth (Potts) Hughes served on the first Board of Managers of the new orphanage, as was her mother (Eleanor Potts). For almost a century, this institution would serve as a haven for many orphan children and "in the world today are many useful women who can refer with pleasant memories to the time they were taught to read, write and sew at All Saints’ Orphanage and School." In 1856, Richard Potts (a trustee of the operation) wrote:
“The congregation of All Saints’ is in prosperous condition, a new and beautiful church having been built, in a short time will be ready for consecration. But whatever gratulation may be allowable upon the result, the most sparkling gem in their diadem will be this hopeful nursery and home for the little ones.”
Mount Olivet Cemetery was officially dedicated in late May, 1854. Three months later, on August 30th, 1854, the Episcopal Female Orphan Asylum of Frederick purchased Area G’s Lot 58 consisting of eight grave sites. Interesting of note, nearly 44 years would pass until a burial would be made here. The date would be June 17th, 1898 and the decedent was 12-year-old Bertha Virginia Cleary who had died the previous day, June 16th.
News of Bertha’s death made the local newspaper, and so did her funeral. The article made known the fact that this was the first death related to an inhabitant of the girls orphanage. It would continue to be so for the next 48 years.
As you could imagine, I haven’t been overly successful in attaining additional info on Miss Cleary, but we have a birthdate of December 6th, 1886 and her obit claimed she was a native of Frederick. Now the local papers have her last name spelled as Clary. However, our interment book spells the name as “Cleary,” and the stone does the same. I found no other Clearys in our cemetery, and 19 Clarys. The latter was more prevalent around here with many living in the Unionville/Mount Airy area in the eastern part of the county.
I was better prepared to simply chase after Cleary so I searched the Frederick census records for Clearys. In 1880, I found three girls with this surname as students of the Academy of the Visitation here in town, roughly two short blocks from the All Saints’ Orphanage.
The ladies can be found as natives of Howard County, living with stepfather Alexander A. Fahey and their mother Isabella Cleary. This raised a flag for me and put my focus on the three girls as longshot potential mothers of Bertha Virginia Cleary. I felt that since they were familiar with both Frederick, and likely the All Saints’ Orphanage as well, that perhaps they may place a child here—especially one holding the Cleary surname. If so, we would certainly assume the child was born out of wedlock—but absolutely no judgment here.
I also thought of the stigma assigned to Catholic girls and a potential illegitimate child. And yes, Billy Joel’s “Only the Good Die Young” did cross my mind—and remember that our subject does have Virginia as a middle name, mind you.
I soon learned that the girl’s father, William Cleary (b. 1814) and a native of Ireland, had died in 1878. Their mother, Isabella (b. 1838), was the daughter of Baltimore merchant Edwin Bailey as I found her in the 1860 US census. Miss Bailey married William Cleary, and later would remarry Mr. Fahey as mentioned earlier. She appears to have died around 1885.
Daughter Helen Cleary (1864-1937) married Alexander Benzinger in 1885 and had four sons, the first (Fred) born in November, 1886. I found it ironic that the family also had an orphaned boy (John Keenan) living with them here in Howard County in 1900.
Laura Gertude Cleary (1866-1929) married Edward Aloysius Benzinger on October 25th, 1887 at the Baltimore Basilica of the Assumption. According to a family tree posted on Ancestry.com, she would go on to have four children. Youngest sister Mary Grace is residing with the family.
I found a few mentions in local newspapers of Wilhelmina Maud Cleary (1869-1949) making return visits to Frederick to visit old friends (teachers/classmates). She married John Daniel Simering in 1889 and went on to have six children. The family lived in downtown Baltimore and later Elkridge.
Nothing definitive at all as it was just the hunch of a curious historian trying to find the parents of an "orphaned orphan" here in Mount Olivet. Like I said, it could be a clerical error in spelling with the right name being Clary. I will leave that research rabbit hole for someone else.
In the All Saints' History book, I found mention to an oral interview conducted with parishioner Nellie Effie Wenner. She actually lived at the orphanage 15 years after the death of Bertha Cleary, having suffered almost fatal burns at the age of five. Mrs. Shaw, born in 1908, lived at the orphanage for 15 years and discussed the duties assigned to the inhabitants of the home. She said:
You are never too little to work! The usual number of 15 girls attended Sunday School, followed by the 11 o'clock service, during which they sat "way up front" near Judge (Glenn) Worthington's family. Evening prayer saw them back in church again."
Many of the girls went into parishioners' homes as domestics or as personal maids until they could be on their own. Mrs. Shaw remembered women board members who took personal interest in the girls' welfare. Birthday parties were also thrown for the orphaned girls as well. An annual picnic was held for the children at the farm of Joseph D. Baker, namesake of Baker Park. These gestures helped instill a life-long dedication to All Saints' Church, and a desire to help others more needy than herself.
Nellie Wenner married Charles Henry Shaw and worked as a seamstress as an occupation. She would pass away in 2001 and is buried in Mount Olivet's Area MM, Lot 139. Here (Area MM) is where are buried many of those re-interred from the old All Saints' Graveyard including Governor Thomas Johnson, Jr. and parish standouts like Rev. Maurice D. Ashbury (1902-1996)
As far as the legacy of the All Saints' Orphanage, I return back to Mr. Helfenstine's history:
“In the mid-1940s, changing social conditions and theories brought to an end an All Saints’ institution that had perhaps been the most important outreach program of the parish for over 100 years. In April 1946, an announcement was made by the Board of Managers that the Episcopal Orphan House and Episcopal Free School Society of All Saints’ Church would be closing. Through the years, generations of women had given themselves to help “destitute female orphans,” and many board members were descendants of the first board women. Just as the opening of public schools brought to a close the Free School, so a new method of placing children in foster homes replaced the Orphan House. Special care was given to finding homes for the only two girls left in the orphanage, and on June 14, 1946, they made their farewells. In November, the building was sold for $20,000 to Drs. Tyson and Lansdale to be converted into apartments.”
A very memorable film came out in 1985, my senior year of high school. The name, The Breakfast Club, may have seemed a bit misleading, but the theme song, by British alternative rock band, Simple Minds, was quite infectious, and still is—“Don’t You (Forget About Me).” The movie centered on a unique situation to build a motion picture around as it captured the interaction between teenagers from different high school cliques spending a Saturday morning in school detention together. This took place under an authoritarian assistant principal serving as chaperone.
Producer/director John Hughes was responsible for so many great movies during the “Big Eighties” decade, including this comedy/drama in which one will find several lines that will stand the test of time. The one that I always remember came from Vice Principal Richard Vernon in which he threatened one of the students with the immortal stern warning: “Don't mess with the bull, young man. You'll get the horns.”
I recently fondly recalled my own father using this quote often on my brothers and I after seeing the movie. It somehow popped into my head as I rounded a bend near Area K in Mount Olivet while driving back to my office in the mausoleum complex. Within this minute section of the cemetery, on the northwestern corner adjacent Carrollton Street, I saw a good-sized gravestone with the name of Van Horn upon its lower face. Fittingly, for my Breakfast Club theme above, the marble marker in question featured a visual backdrop of a public school (Lincoln Elementary). My brain works in strange ways and how Van Horn could trigger a movie, and movie line, from 36 years ago I can’t exactly explain….but I’ve learned to live with my misgivings at this point.
I wasn’t familiar with this Van Horn surname so decided to investigate then and there. I parked nearby and got out of my Jeep to investigate a bit further. I found four names carved upon the front of the stone: